Harlem activist Geoffrey Canada to speak at UCSC on April 12

A tireless community activist, Geoffrey Canada has been described as "the brother who never left the 'hood because he keeps looking into the faces of the children and seeing himself there."

Canada will discuss his work on behalf of at-risk children and families during a free public lecture entitled "It Takes a 'Hood: Community Revitalization, Educational Reform, and the Harlem Children's Zone," on Tuesday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Colleges Nine and Ten Multipurpose Room at UC Santa Cruz. Free parking will be available at Colleges Nine and Ten and in the Core West Parking Structure, and free shuttles will run between the parking garage and the event.

Canada is the president of the Harlem Children's Zone, which works with children and families in 23 blocks of central Harlem. The recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, Canada in 1994 received the first annual Heinz Award for his work with urban youth.

Canada grew up in poverty in the South Bronx, and his acclaimed memoir, Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America, reveals how the gun lobby fuels gun violence in inner cities. His latest book is Reaching Up for Manhood.

In Harlem, Canada has worked with Rheedlen's Beacon School, which provides support to children and families, the Community Pride Initiative that works with tenants to help them reclaim their neighborhoods, and the Harlem Peacemakers Program, a communitywide effort to reduce violence. Canada has a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College and a master's from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Canada's visit is sponsored by the UCSC Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community with support from a broad array of campus affiliates.