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Join GEEARS for a lunchtime conversation with the Harlem Children’s Zone President Geoffrey Canada, as he shares insights into the issues Georgia’s youth are facing and how the answers to these problems are not found in any one strategy, but a community plan of action to save our children.
An educator and advocate, Geoffrey Canada offers a vision that with hard work, dedication, and a prioritizing of our resources, we can create a safe, caring and stimulating environment for all children.
Having worked with the Harlem Children’s Zone® for more than 30 years, Mr. Canada is renowned around the world for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem, and as a thought leader and passionate advocate for education reform.
From 1990 to 2014, Mr. Canada served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Harlem Children’s Zone, which The New York Times called “one of the most ambitious social-policy experiments of our time.” In 2011, Mr. Canada was named to the TIME 100 list of most influential people in the world and, in March 2014, was named one of Fortune’s 50 greatest leaders in the world. As of July 1, 2014, Mr. Canada stepped down as CEO, handing the reins to COO Anne Williams-Isom. He continues to serve as President of the HCZ and Promise Academy Boards.
Under Mr. Canada’s visionary leadership, HCZ has become a national model and the subject of significant media attention. Mr. Canada grew up in the South Bronx in a poor, sometimes violent neighborhood. Despite his troubled surroundings, he achieved great academic success, receiving a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After graduating, Mr. Canada began his life’s work helping children who, like himself, grew up in poor, distressed neighborhoods.
In 2006, Mr. Canada was selected by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve as co-chair of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, responsible for formulating a plan to significantly reduce poverty. In 2011, he was appointed to the New York State Governor’s Council of Economic and Fiscal Advisors. He is also an advisor to and board member of several nonprofit organizations.