Partner Q&A: Tilden TV & Radio

By Michael Finney, Founder / Director, Tilden TV & Radio Mentoring Program

Tilden TV & Radio Mentoring Program (TTRMP) is the voice of Tilden Career Community Academy. Supported by community partners, alumni and students from Chicago high schools who participate through the Summer Youth Employment Program, TTRMP has given a rebirth to the media programs offered on campus.

How do you define a ‘well’ community?

At Tilden Career Academy High School we believe a ‘well’ community is an environment that promotes stability, leadership, and structure. It also has the safety, educational and commercial opportunities every community needs to addresses the health concerns of the individuals who make up community. A ‘well’ informed neighborhood taking action on empowering information contributes to a ‘well’ community. It’s by surrounding our children, our neighbors and ourselves with a positive and holistic lifestyle that ‘well’ communities are born.

What additional public/private and community/corporate partnerships do you think are necessary to ensure social disparities don’t get in the way of good health?

Partnerships should ensure social disparities are not an obstacle to good health by addressing the barriers of economics, education and healthier lifestyles of neglected communities. Often companies that have the ability to change negative patterns in a community will not because they have a successful track record of profiting in these areas. This does not help the community thrive. Partnerships that promote and educate the process of attaining access to sustainable resources change neighborhoods. The ‘well’ community will be the result of empowering members of the community with the abilities of passing the seeds of education from generation to generation.

What can community members do to ensure that we’re all truly working as ‘one community’? Local and state government? The media?

As community members, it is our job to know as much as possible about issues that affect us. Whether those issues are related to health, politics or education, we must become more informed decision makers. As a community, I feel there are a number of factors that could point us more in this direction including not allowing political, ethnic or religious affiliations dictate how we treat one another. Local and state governments could eliminate barriers to the best education, healthcare and access to opportunities. The media could play a bigger role in promoting more positive activity in underserved communities and not just the negative. We need more reports on the number of students growing up in neglected neighborhoods that are going to college and the armed services than going to prison or becoming the next reality star.