The Full Wiki

Geoffrey Canada: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Geoffrey Canada (born January 13, 1952) is an African-American social activist and educator. Since 1990, Canada has been president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone in Harlem, New York, an organization whose goal is to increase high school and college graduation rates among students in Harlem.[1]


Early life and education

Born in New York City, Canada was raised in the South Bronx. He is the third of four sons of McAlister and Mary Canada. His parents' marriage ended in 1956, after which his father played little part in the children's life and did not contribute financial support.[2]

Canada holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College and a Master's degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While studying in Cambridge, Canada became a third-degree black belt in the Chang Moo Kwan style of Taekwondo under Dennis Goldsmith. He has used this skill to connect with young people as a mentor.[3]

Role with the Harlem Children's Zone

Starting as president in 1990, Canada began working with the Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families which evolved into the Harlem Children's Zone. Unsatisfied with the scope of Rheedlen, Canada transformed the organization's makeup in the late 1990s into a center that would actively follow the academic careers of youths in a 24-block area of Harlem. Due to the success of the new model, the area has grown to 97 blocks.

The Harlem Children's Zone was profiled in 2004 in a story by Paul Tough in the New York Times Magazine, which described it as "one of the biggest social experiments of our time."[4] In 2008, Tough published a book entitled Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America.[5] Additionally, U.S. News and World Report named Canada one of America's Best Leaders in its October 2005 issue.

Along with having been featured in a number of print publications, Canada has made a number of high profile television appearances including a profile interview on 60 Minutes [6] two televised interviews with Charlie Rose,[7] a guest appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and two appearances on the Colbert Report. [8][9]

Having seen the success of the Harlem Children's Zone, in 2009 US President Barack Obama announced plans to replicate the HCZ model in 20 other cities across the nation.[10]


Canada's first book Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America was first released in 1995. In the book, Canada recounts his exposure to violence during his childhood and offers a series of recommendations on how to alleviate violence in inner cities.

In 1998, he published his second book, Reaching Up For Manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America.[11]

Awards and Honors

  • The 1st Annual Heinz Award in the Human Condition[12]
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Bowdoin College (2007) .[13]


  1. ^ Gergen, David (January 20, 1998). "Moving Toward Manhood". PBS. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  2. ^ "Geoffrey Canada, social activist". Current Biography. February 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Harlem Renaissance (Program 84)".'s Humankind series. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  4. ^ Tough, Paul (June 20, 2004). "The Harlem Project". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  5. ^ Paul Tough (2008-08-12). Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0618569898. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "Charlie Rose Guests - Geoffrey Canada". Charlie Rose Inc.. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  8. ^ Colbert Nation: Geoffrey Canada. [T.V.]. 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  9. ^ Colbert Nation: Geoffrey Canada - Reversing Racism. [T.V.]. 2009-07-20. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  10. ^ "Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Plan to Combat Poverty". Obama-Biden website. Fall 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  11. ^ Geoffrey Canada (1998-12-10). Reaching Up For Manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America. Beacon Press. ISBN 0807023175. 
  12. ^ The Heinz Awards, Geoffrey Canada profile
  13. ^ Honoris Causa citation, Bowdoin College

External links




Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address