Social Change Myth Busting with Geoffrey Canada (CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone)

July 29, 2015

I had the chance to catch up with Geoffrey Canada, former CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone, after his keynote. This was from a conference where John and I spearheaded their media/communication strategy for their website. In this episode we cover:

  • Why accountability is key for organizational success
  • What the nonprofit world desperately needs to borrow from for profit models
  • Data. You can't be "too busy" not to make it a priority.
  • Why Higher Education might NOT be the place to find answers to social change
  • Ways to hold Higher Education more accountable

The success of the Harlem Children's Zone was so great that President Obama created "Promise Zones" based on his model. The zones include Los Angeles, San Antonio, Philadelphia, south-eastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma. Check out the bio and video of the interview below.


Having worked with the Harlem Children’s Zone® for more than 30 years, Geoffrey Canada is renowned around the

Geoffrey Canada (Former CEO of Harlem Children's Zone)
Geoffrey Canada (Former CEO of Harlem Children's Zone)

world for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem, and as a thought leader and passionate advocate for education reform.
From 1990 to 2014, Mr. Canada served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Harlem Children’s Zone, which The New York Times called “one of the most ambitious social-policy experiments of our time.” In 2011, Mr. Canada was named to the TIME 100 list of most influential people in the world and, in March 2014, was named one of Fortune’s 50 greatest leaders in the world. As of July 1, 2014, Mr. Canada stepped down as CEO, handing the reins to COO Anne Williams-Isom. He continues to serve as President of the HCZ and Promise Academy Boards.
Under Mr. Canada’s visionary leadership, HCZ has become a national model and the subject of significant media attention. Mr. Canada and HCZ have been featured in the documentary Waiting for “Superman,” as well as on 60 Minutes, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Anderson Cooper 360°, Black in America 2, The Charlie Rose Show, This American Life, and in articles in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The Associated Press. In 2008, Houghton Mifflin published Whatever It Takes, by Paul Tough, a detailed look at the work of Mr. Canada and HCZ.
Mr. Canada grew up in the South Bronx in a poor, sometimes violent neighborhood. Despite his troubled surroundings, he achieved great academic success, receiving a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After graduating, Mr. Canada began his life’s work helping children who, like himself, grew up in poor, distressed neighborhoods.
Mr. Canada has written two books: Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America (1995; reissued as a graphic novel in 2010) and Reaching Up for Manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America (1998). A strong voice in public debates on education, he also has written for a number of publications, including op-eds for The New York Times and Daily News; gave a TED Talk on our failing schools and the need for innovation that was broadcast on PBS; and has spoken to audiences around the world about what it takes to help children succeed, from evaluation to early childhood education and beyond.
In 2006, Mr. Canada was selected by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve as co-chair of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, responsible for formulating a plan to significantly reduce poverty. In 2011, he was appointed to the New York State Governor’s Council of Economic and Fiscal Advisors. He is also an advisor to and board member of several nonprofit organizations.




From Advocate to CEO, Charles A. Archer of The THRIVE Network

July 22, 2015

CEO, Lawyer, and international best seller, Charles A. Archer, joins us today for this episode of the Q2 Podcast. Check out his book Everybody Paddles on sale at Amazon now.  In this episode we cover:

  • What is The THRIVE Network and why high quality and honest delivery is the "The NEW Standard" for organizations to succeed in service.
  • ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the 25th anniversary of the landmark civil rights legislation.
  • Translating community organizing and advocacy into legislation and policy
  • How to gain access to special committees and be invited on commissions for county, city, or state levels.
  • Has the generation before us "fumbled" in empowering the next generation? What does it truly mean to "pay your dues?"
  • The power of learning and leveraging your networks for education.
  • Brooklyn stand up! The opening night of  the "HERE" Art Exhibit event coming up this Friday (July 24th) at SHOPS at the Loom


Charles Anderson Archer is an American lawyer, author, speaker, entrepreneur, CEO and co-founder of The THRIVE Network (formerly known as EDCSPIN - Evelyn Douglin Center for Serving People in Need), which offers services to

Charles A Archer Thrive Network PanVisio Q2 Podcast
Charles A. Archer, CEO Thrive Network

thousands of individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities and their families in the 5 boroughs of New York City and New Jersey. Archer has written the Everybody Paddles book compilations that provide strategies to building a unified team through leadership, and in 2011 served as a Cuba Research Delegate with the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities AAIDD for which he has also lectured.

Before his CEO assignment for The THRIVE Network, Archer also served as an Associate Executive Director to the InterAgency Council of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disability Agencies of New York, where he liaised with state agencies and community and government organizations on behalf of the mentally disabled & disadvantaged. Archer worked closely with local, state and federal legislators and contributed to shaping the programs and policies that directly impacted this group.] In December 2010, Archer was recognized by former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for the revitalization of EDCSPIN in the community and presented with a citation from his office.

In 2012, Charles A. Archer was among a select group of public executives invited to participate in the Harvard University Kennedy School Driving Government Performance consortium, and later that year he received The Network Journal 40 Under 40 achievement award for professionals who have significantly impacted their respective industries and community. The following year he was the recipient of the King of Kings County award for his depth of community service with disabled and disadvantaged citizens and in 2013, received a proclamation for his leadership as CEO for EDCSPIN from former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg Early 2015, the acting commissioner for the Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities chose Archer to join an elite group of experts and individuals in the service of the mentally disabled to lead their transformation panel initiative.

In 1996, Archer earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Accounting at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He continued on to Brooklyn Law School in 2001 where he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree and soon after was hired as an assistant district attorney in Kings County where he prosecuted criminal matters on behalf of the State of New York. Charles continued on his educational journey and earned a Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College where upon graduating he joined the faculty and served as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Affairs. He later went on to earn his accreditation as a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional CCEP and Certified Healthcare Compliance Professional. Archer earned his Green Six Sigma Belt and Black Six Sigma Belt from Emory University in 2014.


Andrew Hewitt of Game Changers 500 on Creating New Models for Social Change

July 15, 2015

It is official. The game has changed. 


"You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

― R. Buckminster Fuller

And Andrew Hewitt tells us why. Andrew Hewitt( follow him @a_hewitt) is the Founder of GameChangers 500, an organization that shines the spotlight on the world’s top For-Benefit businesses. Considered an alternative to lists like the Fortune 500, GameChangers 500 looks beyond revenue as the “point system” and awards organizations up to 9 badges that represent symbols of success in this “new game” of business.

His research has led him to be featured in major media such as BBC World News, Forbes and Fast Company, speak at premier venues such as TEDx and the Social Entrepreneurship World Forum, and work with both innovative new companies like as well as consult century old corporations like Kraft Foods.

Andrew’s progress in helping define a new “For-Benefit” model of business earned him a seat on the Advisory Council for the Fourth Sector Mapping Initiative that is helping the US government formalize the For-Benefit legal model to become a new fourth sector of the economy, joining the existing three sectors—for-profit, non-profit and government.

Andrew’s passion to inspire young leaders to seek careers at For-Benefit companies has him regularly collaborating with universities such as Princeton, Harvard, and the United Nations University for Peace.


Keynote on what it means to be a for-benefit business, including inspiring examples from organizations around the world.


Theory of Change (Best Practice EVERY ORGANIZATION should have).
QUOTE: "It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt. - Eric Hoffer"
What is a "For Benefit" Entity and how does it compare to For Profits and Non-Profits.
Free resource guide on where to find purpose-driven companies:
Here is a link to a presentation on how to get the attention of purpose-driven employees and 10X your chances of getting hired:
Please share! There are alternative models for social change. You can be apart of this movement.

Daisy Martinez on Maximizing Your Strength to Maximize Your Time and Mission

July 8, 2015

Daisy Martinez Trash Free LA Q2 Podcast
Daisy Martinez of @TrashFreeLA (Instagram)

Daisy Martinez joins us in a strategy session for her organization, Trash Free LA. Here we talk about helping her in the area of gaining clarity and focus on her mission critical aspects of her organization. Let's be honest. A lot of us are trying to build a social movement either part time or on limited funds so we know we can't just do it all! In our strategy session we cover:

  • The Importance of knowing your mission
  • Work smarter not harder in leveraging your strength
  • Why timelines are critical in ensuring productivity focus on your objectives.

Follow the movement on social media below!

trashfree la social media


The Side Hustle, Entrepreneurship, and Pan-Africanism?

July 1, 2015

John and I experiment with a free flow episode and have a lot of fun. Let us know about the format.

In this episode we cover a lot but basically, we entertain how personal economic empowerment (mainly from being an entrepreneur) can solve/address the issues that plague communities of need. We also see how this compares to Pan-Africanism and the realities that race, class, and color play into upward socio-economic mobility.

  • How teachers and educators can pivot for a side hustle
  • Chris Christie...and the "one thing you need to know about him".
  • Dr. Umar Johnson and a message compromised?
  • Panafrican ideology as a mental model for personal and community empowerment
  • Racism vs. Prejudice, do we have a terminology problem when talking about systematic oppression of people of color?
  • How color bias plays a roll in racism in Latino and Caribbean cultures (Dominican Republic and Haiti)
  • John references Kanye West ;0)


General introduction to Pan-Africanism

Chris Christie article

e-tutor (fiverr for tutors?)

Dr. Umar Johnson website

Link to article Dr. Umar being "exposed". 

Haiti and the Dominican Republic Deportations

Blog post on Research Paper Black and White: the role of color bias in implicit race bias