Harlem Renaissance

Program 84 • 29 mins


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A truly spell-binding speaker, Geoffrey Canada was described by Newsday as “Harlem’s Father Figure.” His efforts to save inner city youth became the subject of a recent cover story of The New York Times magazine. In 1997, he drew a line on a map around a twenty-four block area in central Harlem where he believed children were woefully underserved. He dubbed it “Harlem Children’s Zone” and has proceeded to deploy more than a dozen programs now serving over 8,000 kids (and 5,000 adults).

Today, his nineteen million dollar project, supported by foundations, corporations and government funding, brings together a patchwork of agencies serving children. A third-degree black belt, Canada is a dynamo of energy and inspiration with a grand vision to reclaim young people one at a time. His wonderful stories of turning troubled youth around humanize the plight of kids hungry for affirmation and inspiration.

We went building by building, block by block, door by door. We just said: we’re here for children. We’re going to try to make this a better place for children.”

—Geoffrey Canada


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