Our History


The Harlem Council of Elders was founded in 1993 to create sustained, positive relationships between the Harlem community’s youth and its elders. This intergenerational linkage acts as a channel to revitalize an appreciation for the rich heritage of Harlem residents and to generate greater understanding and pride among its youth.

The Council began its work at what was then known as Junior High School 43, at 129th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, with a weekly Adopt-a-Class program enlisting guest speakers to share their experiences in building fulfilling careers and planning strategically for lifelong success.

Over the years, the Council has expanded its programming to address critical needs in the areas of literacy as well as community-centered historical knowledge.