About our National Founder & President
Rev. Shane Harris
Civil Rights Activist, Policy consultant, Communications Strategist, Ordained Minister, Founder of the People's Association of Justice Advocates and his private sector company S Harris Communications.
“Motivating”, “relevant”, “ambitious”, “educational”, “connected”, “consistent”, and “committed” are just some of the words that have been used to describe Shane Harris. Harris was born and raised in San Diego, CA. His preaching ministry began at the solemn age of 16 years old when he began to give some of his first sermons in the church. Every Sunday after church Harris would give a Sunday service in his bedroom and would preach to teddy bears as practice in his preaching ministry. He would later go on to be ordained in the church at 22 years old by Dr. John Wayne Ringgold of the Bethel Baptist Church (San Diego). He has constantly used his platform in the pulpit to speak out against systemic issues impacting foster children & communities of color even since his teenage years of preaching. Many call him a preacher for the "rejects" empowering people who have been thrown out and rejected to get up and fight forward in life.
Rev. Harris’s passion for social justice and equality stems from his childhood. Harris spent over 13 years in San Diego's child welfare system and lost both of his parents before his 16th birthday. A victim of the unjust juvenile penal system, educational inequalities, and challenges of foster care, Harris has devoted his life to fighting for the voiceless and unheard of our communities across the Country. Growing up in southeast San Diego, he and many of his contemporaries encountered difficult challenges like gangs, drugs, educational failure, and denial of self-worth.
Reverend Shane Harris has been recognized with county, state and national honors for his work around policy and social activism. In 2016 Our City San Diego magazine named him among the 20 most powerful people in San Diego and in 2017 he was honored as one of the Root 100's most influential African Americans in the nation. Harris brings an important equity lens to the work of reimagining systems and creating new narratives in communities that have been historically marginalized and for those who have been underrepresented in society and he continues to deepen that work by implementing policy changes county wide, statewide, and nationally in the areas of foster care, criminal justice reform, reimagining policing and government transparency to name a few.