Geoffrey Canada to speak at commencement

Geoffrey Canada, president and chief executive officer of Harlem Children’s Zone, will be the 2014 commencement speaker at Brandeis University on May 18. Spearheading an organization called “one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time,” by The New York Times Magazine, Mr. Canada will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his pioneering work in helping children and families in Harlem and his passionate advocacy for education reform.

Named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, Mr. Canada spearheaded the Harlem Children’s Zone Project, which targets a 100-block area in Central Harlem to provide more than 10,000 children with a comprehensive range of services that form “an interlocking web” of educational, social and medical services that follows children from birth through college. His work has become a national model.

“Brandeis University is passionately dedicated to the idea that every deserving individual – no matter their race, religion, socioeconomic background or national origin – should have access to a world-class education,” said Brandeis President Frederick M. Lawrence. “It is fitting to honor the work of Geoffrey Canada, whose life's work has focused on making this a reality for thousands of children from Harlem’s most challenging neighborhoods.”

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