Learning to Listen: Meeting the Challenges Facing Our Children and Youth

September 28, 2022 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Michael Accardi

Meeting the Challenges Facing Our Children and Youth

Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at 3 PM ET/12 PM PT

In this first conversation of BTC’s Learning to Listen: Conversations for Change Fall series, Geoffrey Canada, Founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, will share with us what he is learning with children, parents, and teachers about the many ways in which the pandemic continues to disrupt children’s learning, development, and wellbeing, and his call to action – for all of us.

Geoffrey Canada is a leading advocate for children and an innovator in the field of education. Canada grew up in one of the most devastated communities in the United States, the South Bronx, raised by a single mother. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College, and eventually went on to earn a master’s degree at Harvard University. He vowed to help children who grew up in disadvantaged circumstances to succeed through education.

Canada created the Harlem Children’s Zone, a birth-through-college network of programs that today serves more than 13,000 low-income students and families in a 97-block area of Central Harlem in New York City.

The unprecedented success of the Harlem Children’s Zone has attracted the attention of the media and leaders around the world. In 2011, Canada was named one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine and as one of the 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine in 2014. President Barack Obama created the Promise Neighborhoods Initiative to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone model across the country,

Canada has been profiled extensively in the media, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal60 MinutesThe Oprah Winfrey Show, and Forbes, among others. He was featured in the documentary about the dire state of American education Waiting for Superman and has received more than 25 honorary degrees including ones from Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Dartmouth, and the University of Pennsylvania.

He has also influenced a new generation of education reformers through his writings, having published essays in The New York TimesThe New York Daily News, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy as well as two critically acclaimed books on poverty and violence: Fist Stick Knife Gun and Reaching Up for Manhood.

After 30 years with the organization, Canada stepped down in 2014 as Chief Executive Officer of the Harlem Children’s Zone but continues to serve as President.

In June 2020, Canada founded The William Julius Wilson Institute (WJW), which will serve as the national platform to help communities impacted by poverty across the country design and implement their own place-based programs —and its first initiative will be to combat the devastation of COVID-19 in the Black community.

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To view recordings of the entire Learning to Listen series, visit our YouTube channel.

Questions? Contact Michael Accardi


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