Nonprofit Newswire | A Children’s Zone by Any Other Name?

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March 3, 2010; Savannah Morning News | The traditional way of landing federal grants—municipal officials lobbying their federal counterparts—is going to be tried with the Promise Neighborhoods program emerging from the Department of Education. In Savannah, Georgia, Mayor Otis Johnson took advantage of a limo ride with President Barack Obama to lobby for federal grants including Promise Neighborhoods. As the Mayor put it, “I’m sorry I did most of the talking, but it was my one opportunity. I had a list in my head. I just unleashed it all.” But Savannah hasn’t had an entirely uneventful road so far in its proposed replication of the Harlem Children’s Zone. Mayor Johnson’s Savannah Children’s Zone got a letter last month from Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone telling Savannah to stop using the moniker “Children’s Zone” and the component project name, “Baby College.” According to Canada, the Harlem Children’s Zone is the “nationwide exclusive owner of the trade names and services marks ‘Harlem Children’s Zone’ and ‘Children’s Zone.'” The lead organization behind the formerly named Savannah Children’s Zone effort for the past year, the Chatham-Savannah Youth Futures Authority, has come up with some alternative names to replace the proprietary HCZ nomenclature, but the official new name hasn’t been selected yet. Canada told the Mayor by mail that he supports Savannah’s efforts toward replication, but “we must protect our HCZ marks.” Will the multitude of other HCZ replications also soon be receiving cease and desist letters from the one and original Children’s Zone?—Rick Cohen