National Leadership

Through our national leadership initiatives, we’re helping under-resourced communities across the country and the world root out poverty and open pathways to social and economic mobility.

About HCZ's National Leadership Initiatives

We’ve learned a lot in our decades of serving the community of Central Harlem. Through a generation of evidence, we’ve proven that we can transform lives and communities through place-based interventions and culturally responsive programs that create pathways to social and economic mobility.

As part of our vision, we are scaling our impact — offering support to other under-resourced communities so they can do the same.

Through our national leadership initiatives, we assist community leaders and educators across the world in rooting out poverty and unlocking opportunity.

National Efforts

Through our national leadership initiatives, we have undertaken a series of critical efforts to support under-resourced communities across the country, particularly Black and brown communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

A man and woman exchange produce at a farmers market

COVID-19 Relief and Recovery

COVID-19 hit Black and brown communities disproportionately hard. HCZ took swift and broad action to hit back.

In short order, HCZ developed a five-pronged emergency response and recovery plan in Harlem — a critical lifeline to close resource gaps and address vulnerabilities in our community.

So impactful was our work that The Audacious Project at TED selected Harlem Children’s Zone as one of its prestigious 2020 project grantees, making a generous $26 million commitment towards our goal of raising $50 million to supercharge our COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts in six other communities around the country. Our William Julius Wilson Institute was the platform for this national effort.

Discover more about COVID-19 Relief and Recovery >


One Million Connected Devices Now

The shift to online learning disrupted education for students across the country. But for Black and brown communities, the challenge was particularly acute. Long-standing inequities have left many communities without access to technologies — including laptops and Wi-Fi connections — needed to engage in online learning.

Harlem Children’s Zone partnered with a coalition of best-in-class companies, led by Proctor & Gamble, to lead a nationwide movement to bridge the digital divide.