U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Harlem Children’s Zone CEO Geoffrey Canada to Discuss Importance of Communities in Education Reform

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, for a conversation on place-based programs, such as Promise Neighborhoods, on Monday, June 23, in Arlington, Va. They will discuss the important role these programs play in closing the opportunity gap for children and transforming underserved neighborhoods around the country. Nadya Chinoy Dabby, the Department’s assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, whose office administers Promise Neighborhoods grants, will moderate the discussion.

Their conversation will cover the successes and challenges of the programs, the leadership needed to drive their success, and the role of the federal government in shaping their effectiveness. Dabby also will talk with Canada, who will leave his position this month after 24 years, to reflect on the Harlem Children’s Zone and the evolution of place-based work.

To date, the Department has awarded more than $200 million in Promise Neighborhood grants. In January, the President announced Promise Zones, an initiative through which local communities and businesses will work together to create jobs; increase economic security; expand educational opportunities; increase access to quality, affordable housing; and improve public safety. The first five zones are in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Promise Neighborhoods will play an important role in several of the zones.