Mentoring is at the heart of what Madison-area Urban Ministry does, and executive director Linda Ketcham sees it in a holistic way. She coaches staff members and they, in turn, coach program participants. Participants also coach each other. She credits MUM's diverse staff with creating a supportive atmosphere. "They mentor me in terms of helping my professional development," she says, "so it's something that we all share in."
MUM is an interfaith social justice organization that also serves as an incubator for creative programs. In the Just Bakery program, people who have been incarcerated and have returned home learn how to work in a commercial kitchen as a career pathway. Most of the bakery's staff are program graduates, "so there's kind of a mentoring piece that happens along with it," Ketcham says, because students see people who were in their seats now successfully employed. In MUM's Circles of Support program, a team meets weekly to help a person newly released from prison reintegrate into the community.
Ketcham says MUM also mentors employers. She says MUM has to be consistent with its employment practices and be "willing to do the very same thing we're asking community employers to do, which is to open their doors and give people a second chance."
The M List
Madison Magazine's M List is a who's who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its fourth year, the M List recognizes those making strides as mentors and teachers. Last year's list of honorees were making impacts in the area of social innovation. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored "Foodtastic" entrepreneurs and innovators.