Story posted June 30, 2009
Speaking at a White House event Tuesday, June 30, 2009, designed to highlight innovative non-profit programs that are making a difference in communities across the country, President Barack Obama praised the Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) and its president and CEO Geoffrey Canada '74.
President Obama thanked Canada, along with a handful of others, "for speaking with us about the extraordinary work their organizations are doing in their communities."
HCZ is 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. HCZ includes a preschool, charter school and programs such as the Baby College parenting workshops and an obesity program to help children stay healthy.
Obama has long touted the program as one he would like to see replicated in cities across the country. He reiterated that Tuesday, saying the solutions to America's challenges are being developed every day at the grass roots.
"So if the Harlem Children's Zone can turn around neighborhoods in New York, then why not Detroit, or San Antonio, or Los Angeles or Indianapolis?" asked Obama.
The president called on foundations, philanthropists and others in the private sector to partner with the government to find and invest in these innovative, high-impact solutions and asked Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and her innovation team to search outside of Washington for the programs that can most effectively transform communities and change lives.