Geoffrey Canada

Geoffrey Canada
Geoffrey Canada
  • Born: January 13, 1952
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: President Harlem Children's Zone, Social Activist, Author, Educator









Geoffrey Canada is an American educator, social activist and author. Since 1990, Canada has been president of the Harlem Children's Zone in Harlem, New York, an organization that states its goal is to increase high school and college graduation rates among students in Harlem. This initiative serves a 97-block area of Harlem replete with at-risk children. Canada serves as the chairman of Children's Defense Fund's board of directors. He was a member of the board of directors of The After-School Corporation, a nonprofit organization that aims to expand educational opportunities for all students. Canada's recommendation for educational reform is to start early using wide-ranging strategies and never give up.

Quotes About
Author Quote
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And if I could get the mayors, and the governors, and the president to look into the eyes of the five-year-olds of this nation, dressed in old raggedy clothes, whose zippers are broken but whose dreams are still alive, they would know what I know-that children need people to fight for them. To stand with them on the most dangerous streets, in the dirtiest hallways, in their darkest hours. Poverty
If we are to save our children then we must become people they will look up to. Children need heroes now more than ever because the poor children of this nation live with monsters every day. Monsters deprive them of heat in the winter, they don't fix their sinks and toilets, they let garbage pile up in their hallways, they kick them out of their homes, they beat them, shoot them, stab them-sometimes to death-they rape their bodies and their minds. Sometimes they lurk under the stairs. They scuttle around in the dark; you hear them in the walls gnawing, squeaking, occasionally biting a little finger. Families, Children & Parenting
An extended school day gives administrators the ability to ensure children get a well-rounded education. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
At a school in Massachusetts where I once worked, we managed early on through consensus. Which sounds wonderful, but it was just a very, very difficult way to sort of manage anything, because convincing everybody to do one particular thing, especially if it was hard, was almost impossible.
Boys want to grow up to be like their male role models. And boys who grow up in homes with absent fathers search the hardest to figure out what it means to be male.
Convincing people to give your way a try will work if you neutralize - and sometimes you have to cauterize - the ones who really are against change. They're the kind of person who, if you tell them it's raining outside, they'll fight you tooth and nail. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Education is the only billion dollar industry that tolerates abject failure. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Failure
Good dental care doesn't make you a good student, but if your tooth hurts, it's hard to be a good student.
How is it we could have a system where schools could remain lousy for 50 years and yet you do exactly the same thing this year that they did 50 years ago when it didn't work then, and no one feels any pressure to change? Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I believe that for lots of churches and religious institutions, their main focus on the development of faith among parishioners needs to spread to the community. Religion & God
I graduated from Bowdoin College and went to the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Then I left and took a job teaching really poor inner-city white kids in Boston. It was interesting to me because I'd never been around poor whites before. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I want my kids to graduate from high school. But that's not enough. I also want them to go to college. Why? Because rich people's kids go to college. And if that's good enough for them, it's good enough for my kids. Because you know what? College graduates don't tend to go to jail as frequently as nongraduates.
If you are a lousy teacher, you should be fired. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
In two-parent households, women have increasingly entered the workplace, and in single-parent households, there is even more of a need for the adults to work. That means parents do not fully control their own schedule and have to scramble to find high-quality after-school options. Women ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It is important to have permanent safe spaces in Harlem.
It's just becoming more acceptable for girls to react violently.
Kids who are poor often have families that have not really been kept informed about... how important it is to read to your child, to reduce stresses in their life, to use positive incentives and words. Life
Lots of boys pick strong messages about who they are and who they want to be from the media.
Many schools today are sacrificing social studies, the arts and physical education so children can cover basic subjects like math, English and science. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Middle-class families know education begins at birth. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Movies portray men as tough guys. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
My contract with my teachers is fair, and is two pages. The union contract is 200 pages. You cannot manage your business when you cannot make any decision without going back to 200 pages worth of stuff. Business, Commerce & Finance
My own faith was nurtured by my grandmother and her clinging deeply to her faith when she was dying a painful and slow death from cancer. Religion & God ;Death
One of the things that sells music is when the artist is looked at as someone who's come up from the streets. Not just any streets, but the toughest, meanest streets of the urban ghetto. And that's called 'street credibility.' Music, Chants & Rapps
People don't believe or understand that a community can lose hope. You can have a whole community where hopelessness is the norm, where folks don't have faith that things will get better because history and circumstances have proven over 30, 40, or 50 years that things don't get better. History ;Hope ;Religion & God
People talk about Wall Street greed, but one of the things many people don't understand is that there are a lot of organizations that have been the recipient of largess from the same Wall Street.
Poverty places not just one or two obstacles but multiple obstacles in a child's pathway to what we would consider to be regular development - cognitively, intellectually and emotionally.
Teachers need to be paid like professionals.
The rates of soda consumption in our poorest communities cannot be explained by individual consumer preferences alone, but rather are linked to broader issues of access and affordability of healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods, and to the marketing efforts of soda companies themselves.
The system decides you can't run schools in the summer.
The tendency in lots of large organizations is to try and find a comfortable place where you think you can get measured rewards for measured work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
There's not a day that goes by that I don't draw on my undergraduate background in psychology.
Video games offer violent messages, and even the sports video games include taunting and teasing. Sports & Athletics
We've gotta guarantee all of our kids an education. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
When I began working in not-for-profits, it was taking a vow of poverty, which eliminated huge numbers of folks.
When I first found out that Superman wasn't real, I was about maybe eight. And I was talking to my mother about it. And she was like, 'No, no, no. There's no Superman.' And I started crying. I really thought he was coming to rescue us. The chaos, the violence, the danger. No hero was coming.
When I was growing up, kids used to talk about snitching... It never extended as a cultural norm outside of the gangsters.
You don't need someone destroying you when your own people are the worst messengers possible. And this is what black people in America have not come to grips with.
You go through the Civil Rights struggle, everybody knew the songs - 'We shall overcome.' Everybody would sing it. Music helped us. James Brown, 'Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud.' They helped black people figure out how to navigate what was a very treacherous place in America for them. Music, Chants & Rapps
You grow up in America and you're told from day one, 'This is the land of opportunity.' That everybody has an equal chance to make it in this country. And then you look at places like Harlem, and you say, 'That is absolutely a lie.'
Young people will tell you, if you're not prepared to write the most violent, the most misogynistic, the most horrible kinds of rhymes and scenarios, you are not going to get air play.