Our Mission, Core Beliefs, and Values

Our Mission

HCZ breaks the cycle of intergenerational poverty with on-the-ground, all-around programming that builds up opportunities for children, families, and communities to thrive in school, work and life.

From early childhood, education, and career programs to community outreach and wellness initiatives, HCZ opens pathways to mobility and prosperity.

HCZ leads the way for communities around the country, improving the lives and livelihoods of millions. Together with our partners, we’re transforming the way we root out poverty in neighborhoods across the nation and around the world.

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Video: Close up of Kwame Owusu-Kesse speaking to camera

Our Core Beliefs and Values

Our Core Beliefs and Values guide everything we do. They are a critical part of our culture and help us provide the best programs and supports to the children and families we serve. The values work together and balance each other, informing how we behave and make decisions across the organization.

We embrace a holistic, youth-centered approach to create transformational opportunities, driven by a call for justice, equity, and a radical hope for their future

We are anchored in mission, and unrelenting in our pursuit of excellence for our children, families, and community. We understand that our mission is bigger than ourselves. We are called to serve the communities we represent and lead our children.

We know that where a child is born and raised determines their future prospects of success. Therefore, we build opportunities for prosperity in traditionally underserved neighborhoods, using a comprehensive, place-based cradle to career approach that will break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

HCZ History | Old Harlem Children’s Zone Mural

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History of Harlem Children's Zone

Ours is a story of relentless evolution in the name of a revolution — to innovate a series of place-based, cradle-to-career services designed to systematically break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.