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Richard C. Harris

Jannetides College of Business, Communication & Leadership
Associate Professor of Communication

Degrees

BA in Christian Ministries, Indiana Wesleyan University
MMin in Pastoral Ministries, Bethel University
MA in Communication, Spring Arbor University
EdD in Adult Higher Education, Nova Southeastern University

Bio

Dr. Richard C. Harris came to Southeastern University in 2003, where he has served in administration and has taught for the College of Education, the Barnett College of Ministry & Theology, and, currently, the Jannetides College of Business, Communication, & Leadership where he is the lead public speaking professor and Co-Director of the """"Certificate in Racial Reconciliation"""" program. Prior to SEU, Dr. Harris taught speech and persuasion at Purdue University in Indiana.
Dr. Harris is well known for his earlier years when he served as the Grand Dragon of the Indiana Ku Klux Klan for several years in the 1970s. An avowed white supremacist, in 1978, he committed his life to Jesus Christ and underwent a dramatic transformation. He renounced racism and all ties to the KKK. He documents his experiences in his memoir, One Nation Under CURSE, which won the 2012 Reader’s Favorite Award for best non-fiction religion/philosophy book.
Considered a national thought leader in building racial harmony, Dr. Harris served as one of the leaders for the Congressional Gracism Forum on Racial Reconciliation at the U.S. Capital Building in Washington, D.C. in 2017. Following a presidential address, he was recognized for his work in building bridges between the races at the National Prayer Breakfast Leadership Caucus.
More recently, in February, 2021, Faith & Prejudice awarded Dr. Harris the “2021 Dr. Clarence B. Jones Wintertime Soldier Award” for his “forty-plus years of significant contributions promoting racial equity throughout the church and nation.”
Dr. Harris also served as a Senior Pastor for 31 years in the Free Methodist Church - USA denomination and currently serves as an Associate Pastor at an historic African-American church, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Bartow, Florida.
Dr. Harris’ research interests are in the areas of interracial communication, public speaking, building racial harmony and radicalism/extremism.