Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Greatest Contribution: Helping the Disadvantaged

BOND: What do you think is your greatest contribution as an African American leader?

CANADA: I hope it’s going to be that we have proven without a doubt that we can take large numbers of poor, disadvantaged students and get them in and through college and on the path to success and I want to prove it so convincingly that this won’t be a question of whether or not it can be done. It’ll only be a question of whether or not we have the will to do it and if the country answers, "You know what, we could do it, but we don’t want to spend the money." Fine. Then I’ll feel like, well, look, I’ve done my part, let somebody else battle this next battle. Right now, people are still saying we don’t think this can be done and I’m hoping to make sure that no one will be able to be comfortable with that saying, well, there’s no real proof you can do this and so, you know, we don’t want to necessarily make these investments because we don’t know if we’re wasting money or we could probably do it smarter. I want to end that whole conversation and just get it down to do we care enough or don’t we and let people fight that one out.