History and Goals
The overall goals that support the mission of Today Not Tomorrow are to:
- Increase knowledge of issues that impact the well being of youth and families; the risky behaviors and challenges that are present for children and youth and how brain development plays a role n the decision making process of youth.
- Provide venues for the voice of youth, and others not often heard to be lifted; to boost self-esteem, and influence the public image of youth, communities of color and the disenfranchised.
- Promote collaboration among parents/ caregivers and agencies that touch the lives of children, youth and family
- Influence public opinion by recording and documenting events and provide a venue for those that are often passed over by other outlets.
Today Not Tomorrow, Inc. was established as a 501(C)3 charitable organization in 2003.It’s primary activity at the that time was the production of Club TNT (Today Not Tomorrow – make the right decisions today so you are not faced with the consequences tomorrow)- a weekly one hour television show that airs Saturdays on TVW- 14. Since its establishment, Today Not Tomorrow, has expanded its activities to further its mission.
In addition to Club TNT, Today Not Tomorrow has launched Project Babies, and a successful Youth Safety First Campaign, which in 2011 also includes a bullying awareness and prevention component, “We’ve Got Your Back!”. In 2009, Today Not Tomorrow received the Madison Magazine Best of Madison Editor’s Choice Award for the impact of their community service and work.
In 2007, they were recognized for their community work with the Harambee Award, during the Juneteeenth celebration, and in 2010 Today Not Tomorrow was recognized by the Dane County Coalition for the Reduction of Alcohol Abuse.
Club TNT (Today Not Tomorrow)
Make the right decisions today, so you are not dealing with the consequences tomorrow- is a weekly, hour long network television show, airing on TVW 14, Saturday mornings at 6:00 and 11:00 am. Club TNT educates and informs, and provides opportunities for youth to build self-esteem and confidence to say no to drugs, gangs and other risky behaviors. In a news magazine format, Club TNT showcases community resources to support youth and families; highlights the issues of the day, and spotlights the voices and talents of our youth.
Today Not Tomorrow, Inc. provides information and activities that enable families to become proactive in their children’s health and well-being, strengthen the caregiver/child relationships and promote healthy, nurturing environments.
Through the tenets of Project Babies: Education – Outreach – Advocacy; families will be confident in their parenting by utilizing community resources that support them in creating stable nurturing environments that will ensure the healthy development – physical, social and emotional – of their children.
The vision of project babies will be accomplished through activities and programs that center on:
- Education: Programs that highlight the importance of care and nurturing of babies: prenatal through 2 years of age, such as: Nutrition; Literacy; Attachment – Bonding/Social Emotional Development; Brain Development; and Parenting skills in the format of Play, Learn, Grow!
- Advocacy: Advocacy efforts will provide opportunities that help parents respond to community events, and find their voice.
- Outreach: Programs and events that support parents, and assist them in connecting with community resources. These outreach programs and events include the Community Baby Shower; Fatherhood programs; B.A.B.Y. Olympics; and the Baby Closets.
Project Babies holds a minimum of two community baby showers a year, operates a Baby Closet which provides items necessary in the daily care of infants, and a mobile baby closet that delivers necessary items to homeless, sheltered and families at risk.
A collaboration between Today Not Tomorrow and the Madison Police Department, The Peacemakers bridges the relationships between police officers and the communities they serve. Using community gatherings and forums, individuals learn what their rights are in relation to police contact.
They will learn what the roles and responsibilities are for law enforcement. Through facilitated discussion and dialogue the concerns and issues of neighborhoods are brought forward, with the expected outcome of increased understanding and improved contacts and relationships.
Youth Safety First Campaign
The Youth Safety First (Lock It Up and We’ve Got Your Back) Campaign serves to actively engage the community in measures to increase the safety of youth through education and awareness about:
- The prevention of youth prescription drug use by cleaning out and locking medicine cabinets.
- The impact and implications of youth alcohol usage and encouraging the securing of all alcohol
- The importance of keeping guns locked and away from the reach of children and youth
- Bullying awareness and prevention
Mitchell Senior Idol
In 2008, to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of Club TNT with the community, the first annual Anna Mae Mitchell Senior Idol was held - not for high school seniors but seniors aged 55 and older. In efforts to promote comm-Unity and strengthen families, the Senior Idol Competition gives a venue of celebration for those that continually give their support and wisdom to youth, and families and a way to say “thank-you.” The event also provides intergenerational opportunities.
Stony the Road
Launched in 2009, Stony the Road is a pictorial history of the courageous journey that early African American settlers took when they made the choice to live in Madison, Wisconsin. This title is taken from the Negro National Anthem, entitled Lift Every Voice. The road that these first families trod was stony and full of injustice and barriers.
Stony the Road reaches out to community organizations and individuals for artifacts that portray the joys, relationship-building and injustices that these pioneers went through as they fought for equality and a decent quality of life here in this city. Contributors search their photo albums, shoe boxes, attics and trunks to find artifacts that depicted the ways their families lived Madison’s African American community during the early years of the 1900s to 1950.
The goal of Stony the Road is to recognize those families who played a part in the building of Madison, Wisconsin. The proud heritage and history of these early settlers has been ignored far too long and Stony the Road is bringing this history and these stories to life for the enjoyment and education of others.
Stony the Road, with its travelling exhibit, will inform school children and others in the wider community about how early African American Madisonians paved the way for others to live a good life in Madison. Artifacts will be organized in the focus areas of family, education, churches and community-building.
Scanned photos and documents will be printed on free standing retractable banners along with descriptive text and captions. Portable display boards will be designed to highlight the focus areas as well. A companion booklet will be produced that includes historical facts, stories and other important information, and will serve as a discussion guide. Multi-media tools such as oral and visual interviews will be used to capture stories.
Today Not Tomorrow, Inc works with collaborative partners in promoting their messages. These campaigns have included energy saving tips and messages through Madison Gas & Electric, and voter information through the League of Women Voters. Madison Gas and Electric has renewed its request for messaging around The New Green Challenge for Season 21 of Club TNT.