Conference Home


November 9 & 10, 2009

Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers
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Thank you!

Harlem Children's Zone and PolicyLink want to thank all 1,400 attendees, our volunteers, our speakers, and our sponsors for participating. Please check our "Resources" section for additional information for communities working to start their own holistic projects to create sustained opportunities for poor children and families.

To watch or download videos of the conference, click here.

Dear Friends,

Prompted and energized by the Obama Administration's commitment to support effective strategies to improve life outcomes for children in high poverty areas through a national Promise Neighborhoods Initiative, Harlem Children's Zone® (HCZ) and PolicyLink are proud to announce Changing the Odds: Learning from the Harlem Children's Zone Model, a two-day conference on November 9-10, 2009 in New York City. More than 1,000 leaders from non-profit, community, government, and philanthropic organizations will participate, with a focus on how to transform their communities by replicating the innovative HCZ model.

Communities everywhere struggle with generational poverty. Children born into poverty face a future in which they are far less likely to get a good education or adequate health care and are subsequently more likely to enter prison. Without the tools to live up to their full potential, these children will enter the workforce undereducated and ill-prepared. The cost of this to our communities and America's future competitiveness in the world marketplace is incalculable. Fortunately, the Harlem Children's Zone has built a unique, comprehensive model over the past ten years that is breaking this vicious cycle of generational poverty.

Many communities have approached HCZ to learn about creating similar initiatives. In response to this community demand and federal commitment, HCZ and PolicyLink are co-sponsoring this gathering to:

  • Share core principles of the HCZ model that can be adapted and modeled at the local level;
  • Discuss common obstacles and successful strategies for overcoming them; and
  • Learn about the current status of the federal Promise Neighborhoods Initiative.

The conference will address issues that are critical for those developing a local initiative: strategic planning, creating collaborations, evaluating programs, fundraising, engaging the community, and developing a pipeline of best practice programs. The discussion of these critical concepts will be directly informed by insights we have gained through conversations with over 100 communities that attended HCZ's Practitioners Institute as well as research on how to best translate the HCZ model into policy.

We hope you will join us in this opportunity to learn from each other to improve the lives of poor children and families and break the cycle of poverty across our country. We look forward to seeing you.

Geoffrey Canada Angela Glover Blackwell
President & CEO Founder & CEO
Harlem Children's Zone PolicyLink


Keynote Speakers

Arne Duncan
Secretary of Education
U.S. Dept. of Education

Melody Barnes
White House
Domestic Policy Council

Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder & CEO

Geoffrey Canada
President & CEO
Harlem Children's Zone

Kenneth Chenault
Chairman & CEO
American Express

Marian Wright Edelman
Founder & President
Children's Defense Fund

For More Information
Contact Michael at Hospitality Resource Group, Inc.