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John Harris

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Information about John Harris

Profile image of John Harris

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Chicken And Dumplings
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Louis, Missouri
Favorite Quote:
He Is No Fool Who Will Lose What He Cannot Keep To Gain What He Cannot Lose.

Birthplace

Born:
7/4/1961
Birth Location:
St. Louis, Missouri

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Academic Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Chicken And Dumplings
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Louis, Missouri
Favorite Quote:
He Is No Fool Who Will Lose What He Cannot Keep To Gain What He Cannot Lose.

Birthplace

Born:
7/4/1961
Birth Location:
St. Louis
See how John Harris is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Founder and president of Encouragement Unlimited, Inc., John Leonard Harris was born on July 4, 1961 in St. Louis, Missouri to Reverend Eugene Harris, Jr. and Maeola Wilson Blanchard. Harris attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he obtained his B.A. degree in radio, television and film production in 1984.

In 1989, Harris published Campus Programming for Life: The Challenge of the 1990s and Beyond for the National Association for Campus Activities Research Foundation. He worked for the University of Nebraska at Omaha as a student activities advisor from 1989 until 1991, serving as the primary advisor for a variety of groups including the Women’s Resource Center, American Multicultural Students and the Disabled Students Agency, handling a budget of more than $100,000. In 1992, Harris was published in the Journal of Intergroup Relations where his “Portrayal of the Black Family in Prime time Network” piece was awarded the first “Article of the Year” Award by the National Association for Human Rights Workers.

In 1991, Harris became the special assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and was involved in maintaining the presence of underrepresented minority populations on campus. In 1999, Harris joined the Lincoln based, City Impact, Inc. as the Men’s Youth Ministry Coordinator, leading a social club of primarily African American high school and middle school-aged boys. He remained there for three years.

Harris founded Encouragement Unlimited, Inc. in 2002, serving as chief executive and administrator for the faith-based charitable organization. In 2004, Harris returned to academia, working as a service-learning coordinator for Nebraska Wesleyan University.

In 2005, Harris obtained his M.Ed. degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, and in 2006, he became an instructor at the University. Harris is a popular keynote and conference speaker, lecturing nationally in academia and to businesses on issues of diversity, cultural awareness, leadership, motivation and organizational effectiveness.

Harris is married to his wife Charlene (Maxey) of Lincoln, Nebraska, and they have four children, Preston, Shannon, JoAnna and John, Jr.

Harris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 6, 2007.

See how John Harris is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John Harris' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John Harris lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John Harris describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John Harris describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John Harris describes the Pentecostal church
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John Harris talks about the formation of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John Harris describes his father's ministry
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John Harris describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - John Harris describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - John Harris recalls his parents' divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John Harris describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John Harris describes his neighborhood in Wellston, Missouri
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John Harris describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John Harris describes his early interest in sports
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John Harris recalls the television programs of his youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John Harris remembers listening to Motown music as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John Harris describes his early education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John Harris recalls the Irving Avenue community in Wellston, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John Harris recalls the increase in single parent households during the 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John Harris describes how he came to attend the Saint Louis Priory School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John Harris recalls his transition to the Saint Louis Priory School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John Harris remembers his challenges at the Saint Louis Priory School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John Harris describes the tracking system at the Saint Louis Priory School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John Harris describes his experiences of racial discrimination at the Saint Louis Priory School, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John Harris describes his experiences of racial discrimination at the Saint Louis Priory School, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John Harris remembers his mischief at the Saint Louis Priory School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John Harris remembers his brief time at Cleveland High School in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John Harris describes his basketball career at the Saint Louis Priory School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John Harris recalls his decision to attend the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John Harris remembers the sports programs at the University of Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John Harris talks about his studies at the University of Missouri
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John Harris describes the African American community at the University of Missouri
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John Harris describes Claude McKay's poem, 'If We Must Die'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John Harris recalls how he came to join the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John Harris recalls how he came to join the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John Harris describes his involvement with the Pan-Hellenic Council at the University of Missouri
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John Harris remembers the black athletes at the University of Missouri
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John Harris describes his role on MTV's 'Columbia Rock Report'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John Harris describes his early work experiences
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John Harris remembers meeting his wife
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John Harris remembers the first year of his marriage
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John Harris describes the political and racial climate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John Harris describes his community involvement at Dartmouth College
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John Harris talks about his experiences at Dartmouth College, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John Harris talks about his experiences at Dartmouth College, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John Harris describes his educational program, If Dr. King Were Alive Today
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John Harris recalls joining the administration of the University of Nebraska-Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John Harris describes his introduction to motivational speaking
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John Harris remembers his work in student activities at the University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John Harris describes his transition to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John Harris describes his experiences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John Harris describes his experiences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John Harris recalls his challenges at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - John Harris describes the racial tensions at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - John Harris describes his role at City Impact in Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - John Harris describes the organizational structure of Encouragement Unlimited, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - John Harris talks about the daily operations of Encouragement Unlimited, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - John Harris talks about the future of Encouragement Unlimited, Inc.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - John Harris talks about the role of Encouragement Unlimited, Inc. as a faith based organization
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - John Harris describes his plans for the future
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - John Harris describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - John Harris reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - John Harris reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - John Harris talks about his family
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - John Harris reflects upon his role in African American studies education
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - John Harris remembers his childhood friends
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - John Harris describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - John Harris narrates his photographs