Harlem Children's Zone

Posted by Al Hathaway Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just a shout out to Brother Geoffrey Canada for the successful conference this past weekend highlighting the efforts and successes of the Harlem Children's Zone in New York. What is interesting to note is the commitment of many partners to eliminate the conditions that inhibit success for children and families and to not accept failure of any child in their academic or career pursuit. They have redefined the concept of wrap-around services to include every individual that the program touches receives the assistance they need to make it in our society. The challenge to communities such as Baltimore is to generate the political will to tackle a neighborhood with the holistic perspective of bringing overwhelming force to eliminate slum blight, low test scores, health disparities, and inequality in any form. Several communities are completing for this distinction. Some of the communities who are seeking to position itself as a "Promise Neighborhood" have had many attempts in the past to reverse the trends. I'm advocating and working for the Upton Community to become the "Promise Neighborhood" because of the tremendous assets contained within this historic West Baltimore Community: world class medical institutions, historic churches, state agencies, and its proximity to downtown Baltimore. Furthermore, all of the negative social indicators are present within this community. Yet, it has a network of schools to build upon and a community of interested and committed community leaders.

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