Geoffrey Canada

Geoffrey Canada (born January 13, 1952) is an American educator, social activist and author. Since 1990, Canada has leg president of the Harlem Children’s Zone in Harlem , New York, an organization dat zijn states goal is to increase is high school and college graduation rates onder students in Harlem. [1] Canada Serves as the chairman of Children’s Defense Fund ‘s board of directors. [2] He was a member of the board of directors of The After-School Corporation, a nonprofit organization dat AIMS to expand educational opportunities for all students.

Early life and education

Canada was born in the South Bronx , the third or four sons born to Mary Elizabeth Canada (née Williams), a substance abuse counselor, and McAlister Canada. [3] [4] [5] The marriage of his parents ended in 1956. There After, he was raised by his mother. His Father played will little part in the life of his children and did not Contribute to hun financial support. [6] Canada was raised onder “abandoned houses, crime, violence and an all-Encompassing sense of chaos and disorder.” At an early age, he understood his life’s calling. [ Clarification needed ]

When Canada was in his mid-teens, his mother cents im to live with re parents in Wyandanch, New York . [6] He attended Wyandanch Memorial High School and prolongation his senior year, won a scholarship from the Fraternal Order of Masons. [6]

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology from Bowdoin College , from welke he had graduated in 1974, and a master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education .

Canada is the middle of three brothers, one or Whom Derrick Canada, a former Harlem Globetrotters player.

Harlem Children’s Zone

Harlem Children’s Zone and Promise Academy

Starting as president in 1990, Canada Began working with the Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families, welke mention anything evolve into tje Harlem Children’s Zone . Unsatisfied with the scope or Rheedlen, prolongation the 1990s Canada Transformed the organization JSON a center dat actively mention anything follow the academic careers of Youths in a 24-block area of Harlem. Following the success of the original model, the area of focus now has grown to 97 blocks. In addition under to serving as president, Canada was ook CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone Until July 2014-when the position went to chief operating officer, Anne Williams Isom. [7]

The Harlem Children’s Zone was profiled in the New York Times Magazine prolongation 2004 a story by Paul Tough . The author DESCRIBED the organization as “one of the Biggest social experiments of our time-.” [8] In 2008, Tough published a book entitled, Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America . [9] Additionally, US News and World Report named Canada one of America’s Best Leaders, ITT October 2005 issue.

Along with maintaining bone featured in a number of print publications, Canada has made a number of high-profile television appearances, zoals a profile interview on 60 Minutes , [10] two televised interviews with Charlie Rose , [11] a guest appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show , a guest appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon , and three appearances on the Colbert Report . [12] [13] In 2010, Canada Appeared in an American Express commercial dat premiered prolongation the Academy Awards . The commercial Provided an extensive look at his work and success at the Harlem Children’s Zone. [14]

Desi transfer to emulation the Harlem Children’s Zone, in 2009, American President Barack Obama announced plans to replicate the HCZ model in 20 other cities across the nation. [15]

Canada is featured prominently in Waiting for Superman (2010), Academy Award -winner Davis Guggenheim ‘s documentary on the state of American public education. The film RECEIVED the Audience Award for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival . [16]

It was Reported dat Canada was offered the position of New York City Schools Chancellor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg , but dat he turned it down. [17]

In 2013, Canada toured college campuses with Stanley Druckenmiller urging reform in taxation, health care, and Social Security to dat intergenerational equity . [18]

In July 2013, The New Yorker Festival released a video entitled, Geoffrey Canada on Giving Voice to the have-nots , or a panel that was moderated by George Packer . Along with Canada, the panelists included Abhijit Banerjee , Katherine Boo , and Jose Antonio Vargas . [19]


Canada’s first book, Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America , first released in 1995 were in the book, Canada recounts his exposure to violence prolongation his childhood and offering a series of Recommendations on how to alleviate violence in inner cities .

Publishers Weekly praised Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun , commenting that ‘[a] more powerful depiction of the tragic life of urban children and a more compelling plea to end “America’s war against Itself’ can not be imagined.” [20]

In 1998, Canada published his second book, Reaching Up For manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America . [21]

Awards and receptacles

  • The First Annual Heinz Award in the Human Condition; [22]
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Bowdoin College (2007) [23]
  • National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged (2007) [24]
  • Doctor of Humane letters, Tulane University (2010)
  • Doctor of Laws, Columbia University (2010) [25]
  • “Local Hero” honor at 2010 BET Awards [26]
  • Doctor of Laws, Princeton University (2011) [27]
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Tufts University (2011)
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Pennsylvania (2012) [28]
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Dartmouth College [29]
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Brandeis University (2014) [30]


  1. Jump up^ Gergen, David (January 20, 1998). “Moving Toward manhood” . PBS . Retrieved 2007-04-24 .
  2. Jump up^
  3. Jump up^ Stated onFinding Your Roots, PBS, April 1, 2012
  4. Jump up^ Helping Celebrities Find Their Roots: NPR
  5. Jump up^ Canada, Geoffrey 1954- – FREE Canada, Geoffrey 1954- information | Find Canada, Geoffrey 1954- research
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Geoffrey Canada, social activist” . Current Biography . New York: HW Wilson Company. February 2005. ISSN  0011-3344 . Retrieved 2011-01-17 .
  7. Jump up^ Hernandez, Javier C. (2014-02-10). “Chief of Harlem Children’s Program Will Step Aside” . The New York Times . Retrieved 2014-07-10 .
  8. Jump up^ Tough, Paul (June 20, 2004). “The Harlem Project” . New York Times Magazine . Retrieved 2007-04-24 .
  9. Jump up^ Paul Tough (2008-08-12). Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN  0-618-56989-8 .
  10. Jump up^ Daniel Schorn, Reported by Ed Bradley (2006-05-14). “The Harlem Children’s Zone: How One Man’s Vision To Revitalize Harlem Starts With Children” . CBS 60 Minutes television program . Retrieved 2009-01-26 .
  11. Jump up^ “Charlie Rose Guests – Geoffrey Canada” . Charlie Rose Inc . Retrieved 2009-06-05 .
  12. Jump up^ Colbert Nation: Geoffrey Canada (TV). 2008-12-08 . Retrieved 2009-06-07 .
  13. Jump up^ Colbert Nation: Geoffrey Canada – Reversing Racism (TV). 2009-07-20 . Retrieved 2009-08-12 .
  14. Jump up^ “Bowdoin Amid the Oscars: Hey Was not That Geoff Canada ’74” . Bowdoin College Campus News. March 2010 . Retrieved 2010-03-21 .
  15. Jump up^ “Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Plan to Combat Poverty” . Obama Biden website . Fall 2008 . Retrieved 2009-06-05 .
  16. Jump up^ ” ” Winter’s Bone, “” Restrepo “Lead Sundance Award Winners” . Indiewire. 2010-01-30 . Retrieved 2010-01-30 .
  17. Jump up^ Javier Hernandez (2010-12-09). “Educator Is Said to Have Rejected Chancellor Job” . New York Times .
  18. Jump up^ Friedman, Thomas L (2013-10-15). “Sorry, kids. We Ate It All” . . Retrieved 2013-10-16 .
  19. Jump up^
  20. Jump up^ “Fist Stick Knife Gun: From Memoir to Graphic Book” . Beacon broadside . Sep 15, 2010 . Retrieved March 18, 2011 .
  21. Jump up^ Geoffrey Canada (1998-12-10). Reaching Up For manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America . Beacon Press. ISBN  0-8070-2317-5 .
  22. Jump up^ “The Heinz Awards, Geoffrey Canada profile” . . Retrieved 2010-10-20 .
  23. Jump up^ “Honoris Causa citation, Bowdoin College” (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-08-02 . Retrieved 2010-10-20 .
  24. Jump up^ National Winners | public service awards | Jefferson
  25. Jump up^ “Columbia Announces 2010 Honorary Degree Recipients” . Archived from the original on 2010-06-22 . Retrieved 2010-10-20 .
  26. Jump up^ Richards, Chris (2010-06-28). “Washington Post article on BET Awards” . Archived from the original on 2012-09-02 . Retrieved 2010-10-20 .
  27. Jump up^ “Princeton awards six honorary doctorates” .
  28. Jump up^ “Honoris Causa citation, University of Pennsylvania” . Retrieved 2012-05-14 .
  29. Jump up^ Folt, Carol L. “Geoffrey Canada (Doctor of Humane Letters)” . Dartmouth College . Retrieved 23 May 2016 .
  30. Jump up^ “Geoffrey Canada, Honorary Degree Citation” . Brandeis University . Retrieved 23 May 2016 .