Nonprofit executive Harold Bailey was born on October 15, 1946 in McKinney, Texas to Dorothy L. and John Curtis Bailey, Sr., and was raised by his mother and Ray E. Landrum. In 1948, he moved with his family to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he attended Lowell Elementary School, John Marshall Elementary School, and Lincoln Junior High School, before graduating from “the old” Albuquerque High School in 1964. He received a track scholarship to attend the University of New Mexico, where he received his B.S. degree in health and physical education in 1969. Bailey went on to receive his M.A. degree in special education in 1971, and his Ph.D. degree in American studies in 1975, both from the University of New Mexico.
In 1972, Bailey served as director of the Institute for Social Research and Development’s Child Development Program at the University of New Mexico. The same year, he joined the University’s Afro-American Studies Program as the assistant director. From 1975 to 1980, Bailey served as director of the Afro-American Studies Program. In 1976, he was appointed chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee at the University of New Mexico. Bailey later served as a homebound teacher, a special education teacher, a community liaison, and a certified diversity trainer in Albuquerque Public Schools. From 2000 to 2004, he served as president of the Albuquerque branch of the NAACP. In 2003, Bailey was appointed executive director of the New Mexico Office of African American Affairs. He held the position until 2012, when he was once again elected president of the Albuquerque branch of the NAACP.
Bailey has served as a national executive board member of the National Council for Black Studies, state chairman of the New Mexico Black Studies Consortium, state education chairman of the New Mexico Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and state chairman of the New Mexico Dr. Martin Luther King Federal Holiday Commission. He was a member of the School Restructuring Council at Lavaland Elementary School and Hayes Middle School, and is a certified diversity trainer.
Bailey has received many awards for his commitment to education and community service. In 2007, he received the Grant Chapel AME Community Service Award. In 2008, he received both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Legacy of Service Award and the AKA Albuquerque Legacy of Leaders Community Affairs Award. Bailey also received the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award in 2013.
Harold Bailey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 24, 2019.