Geoffrey Canada Reimagines ‘School’

The founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone had a crazy idea for turning ‘bad kids’ into great students: Invest in them.

Geoffrey Canada, founder of Harlem Children’s Zone
Image by Maggie Leazer / Photo courtesy of Harlem Children’s Zone
Geoffrey Canada, founder of Harlem Children’s Zone
Image by Maggie Leazer / Photo courtesy of Harlem Children’s Zone

Geoffrey Canada Reimagines ‘School’

The founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone had a crazy idea for turning ‘bad kids’ into great students: Invest in them.

Geoffrey Canada had a crazy idea: If you want to help kids in poor communities, you have to invest in both the kids and the communities.

He tells Art of Power host Aarti Shahani about how he grew up in poverty in the South Bronx, broke out with the help of a good education, witnessed the lives of the well-to-do, and then came back to the inner-city to build a school system in Harlem — the Harlem Children’s Zone — that at one point earned 100% of his students college acceptance letters.

Recommended reading:

Correction: A previous version of this episode stated Geoffrey Canada grew up in Harlem, New York. He grew up in the South Bronx.