In his 20-plus years with Harlem Children's Zone, Inc., Geoffrey Canada has become nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform. Joining the organization in 1983, Mr. Canada became the President and Chief Executive Officer of Harlem Children's Zone in 1990. The New York Times Magazine called the agency's work, "one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time." In October 2005, Mr. Canada was named one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News and World Report. In 1997, the agency launched the Harlem Children's Zone Project, which targets a specific geographic area in Central Harlem with a comprehensive range of services. The Zone Project today covers 100 blocks and aims to serve over 10,000 children.
The New York Times Magazine said the Zone Project "combines educational, social and medical services. It starts at birth and follows children to college. It meshes those services into an interlocking web, and then it drops that web over an entire neighborhood. The objective is to create a safety net woven so tightly that children in the neighborhood just can't slip through." The work of Mr. Canada and HCZ has become a national model and has been the subject of many profiles in the media.