Story posted October 21, 2008
Geoffrey Canada '74 and his pioneering work as president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ), a non-profit, community-based organization that works to enhance the quality of life for children and families in a 97-block area of New York City, are the subject of the book Whatever it Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America, a review of which appeared in the October 19, 2008, edition of The New York Times Book Review.
The book's author, New York Times Magazine editor Paul Tough, spent five years researching the work of HCZ, interviewing staff, students and parents.
Tough also surveys the theoretical underpinnings of HCZ's work, speaking with national experts in education and poverty.
The article, "The Transformer," reports that Canada has lived the arc he would like to see his young charges travel and mentions Bowdoin, noting "through a combination of pluck, luck, strong relatives and affirmative action, Canada got himself out of the South Bronx and through elite colleges."
Under Canada's leadership, HCZ has gained national recognition as a model for urban redevelopment.
His determination to revitalize Harlem one block at a time has earned him numerous accolades, including Bowdoin's Common Good Award, the McGraw Prize for Education and the Jefferson Award for Public Service.