Geoffrey Canada

President and Chief Executive Officer of Harlem Children's Zone, Author and Activist

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$30,000 – $60,500 based on 12 fee reports  •  New Hampshire, USA  •  Very Limited

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Canada also received the first Heinz Award in 1994 for his work as President and CEO of Harlem Children's Zone, Inc. (formerly Rheedlen) in New York City. He was chosen as an award recipient for his passionate concern for children and his selfless determination to make their lives safer and saner. Canada's second book, Reaching Up for Manhood, was published in January of 1998.

A much sought-after speaker, Canada enjoys a national reputation as both an advocate for and expert on issues concerning violence, children and community redevelopment. In May 1994 Canada was the host of a national PBS special, "Jobs: A Way Out?" This program explored the importance of employment opportunities for youth in keeping youth from following the path of violence. He has also frequently appeared on CBS's This Morning, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Nightline, and many other television and cable programs, both nationally and locally.

Canada, who grew up in the South Bronx, has dedicated his life to helping children who grew up in conditions similar to those faced by his family secure both educational and economic opportunities. Prominent among his many efforts are the Harlem Children's Zone's Beacon Schools, Harlem Peacemakers Program, and Community Pride Initiative. The Beacon School programs provide support 12 hours a day, 365 days a year to children and families in Central Harlem. His newest initiative is the Harlem Children's Zone Project, which will work with all of the children and families in a 24-block area in Central Harlem.

In 1983, Canada founded the Chang Moo Kwan Martial Arts School. As the school's Chief Instructor, Canada (a Third Degree Black Belt) teaches the principles of Tae Kwon Do to community youth along with anti-violence and conflict resolution techniques. Now in its 13th year, the Chang Moo Kwan Martial Arts School is a nationally recognized model for violence prevention efforts.

Canada holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College and an M.A. in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before joining Harlem Children's Zone, Inc., he served as Director of the Robert White School, a private day school for troubled inner city youth in Boston.

Upon returning to New York City in 1983, Canada became the Program Director for HCZ's Truancy Prevention Program. In 1990 Canada was named the President and CEO of Harlem Children's Zone, Inc. He is also the East Coast Regional Coordinator for the Black Community Crusade for Children. The Crusade is a nationwide effort to make saving Black children the number one priority in the Black community. This initiative is being coordinated by Marian Wright Edelman and the Children's Defense Fund.

He has won numerous awards, including: the Robin Hood Foundation's Heroes of the Year Award, the Spirit of the City Award from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and Bowdoin College's Common Good Award.


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