Ally Profile: Dr. Irvin PeDro Cohen

Pedro Cohen

Dr. Irvin PeDro Cohen is the Executive Director of the New Town Success Zone, a community collaborative initiative largely based upon the work of Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children Zone.

PeDro is a Jacksonville, FL native and he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida, his MBA from Pfeiffer University Charlotte, NC and a graduate from Nova Southeastern University, with a doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Urban Education. His dissertation title was “A Charge to Keep: The Role of the African-American Church Post Civil Rights.”

PeDro also serves on the advisory board of the Florida Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys, the University of North Florida’s School of Education Dean’s Advisory Council, the University of Florida School of Pediatric Medicine’s CTSI Community Advisory Board, he is a member of the Jacksonville Chapter NAACP and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated Jacksonville Alumni Chapter.

His blog can be seen at

Why is PeDro a straight ally and supporter of the HRO ordinance?

I am an ally and supporter of the HRO ordinance because as an African-American male I uniquely understand what the sting of discrimination feels like.  Furthermore, as someone who believes in the spiritual principles associated with LOVE and BEING I find it counterproductive spiritually to simply deny anyone service based upon their sexual orientation.

Finally, as a lover of people and the unique experiences they bring to my own personal growth and existence I would not want to deny myself an experience based upon some baggage brought on by discriminatory practices that involve sexual orientation.

Watch his video in support of his LGBT friends and community here.

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