Education Reformer to Keynote Spring Commencement

 Geoffrey Canada

Geoffrey Canada has become internationally recognized for his 30 years of pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem. He will deliver the keynote address at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Spring Commencement at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at The Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds.

PBA’s spring commencement is open to graduates and guests who hold tickets. Candidates for bachelor’s, master’s and professional degrees from the West Palm Beach, Orlando and online campuses will participate in the ceremony.

Canada is the president and former chief executive officer for Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) in New York City. The HCZ project is the model for the Federal Promise Neighborhoods initiative. Their goal is to help children and families, and disrupt the cycle of generational poverty in Central Harlem.

Growing up in a poor neighborhood in the South Bronx, Canada went on to achieve high academic success. He received a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Canada has written two books, “Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America” and “Reaching Up for Manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America.”

In 2006, Canada was chosen by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve as co-chair of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, responsible for formulating a plan to significantly reduce poverty. Following his role as co-chair, he was appointed to the New York State Governor’s Council of Economic and Fiscal Advisors. In other recognition, Canada was selected by Forbes Magazine as one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” and was named to the TIME 100 list of most-influential people in the world.