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An advocate of children and families in Harlem, NY, Geoffrey Canada is president of the Harlem Children’s Zone. In 2009, President Barack Obama announced plans to replicate the educational center in 20 cities.
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This evolved into the Harlem Peacemakers Program, an effort to reduce violence in central Harlem by teaching negotiation skills.
In 1990, Canada was appointed president of Rheedlen. He expanded the center, and renamed it the Harlem Children's Zone. The 97-block complex began offering tutoring, recreational programs and community outreach. Social workers also provided drug counseling, parenting advice, and basic life skills to the community. By 1997, Harlem Children's Zone had 11 sites throughout Manhattan.
In addition to his efforts with Harlem Children's Zone, Canada began national initiatives to save African-American children. In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced plans to replicate the HCZ model in 20 other cities across the nation.
In addition to his social work, Canada has written several books including Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America (1995) and Reaching Up For Manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America (1998).
Canada is currently married to Yvonne Grant. The couple has four children together, and lives in New York City.
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