I, Deborah “Bora” Harris was born Friday, April 4, 1952 to Virginia Harris (John Harris) in Altheimer, Arkansas. I was introduced to Jesus at an early age thus resulting in me giving my life to Christ. I grew up in the Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Altheimer, Arkansas under the leadership of Pastor E.W. Welch. I was trained and taught in the word of the Lord. I was a member/First Lady of Gethsemane COGIC and New LIFE COGIC. I joined the Daniels Memorial COGIC in Portland, Oregon under the leadership of the late Bishop H.B. Daniels, Jr. where I served faithfully as a Missionary. I also served as Youth Sunday School teacher at New Life COGIC and Daniels Memorial COGIC. My current Pastor is Elder Crayton Jackson.
My early years of education were received in Arkansas where I graduated from Altheimer High School as Valedictorian of my class. I loved learning new things. The Lord has always blessed me to learn quickly and easily. After completing my high school years, I attended the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1973 in three years, with a degree in Speech, Drama, and English. Before graduating from college, I entered the Miss Black Arkansas Beauty pageant, competed in New York City, and became the first Miss Black Arkansas. I then went on to graduate from Portland State University with a Masters Degree in Public Administration.
My professional career has been both diverse and varied. After more than two decades of managing operational facilities for a multi-million dollar private sector corporation, I dedicated over ten years to the public sector, until I retired in 2018. Throughout that time, I was an independent and self-empowered diversity consultant, as well as President of D. Harris Leadership Institute, LLC and Move Beyond Your Walls Inc. Additionally, I was incorporator and organizer for the William & Sally Allen, LLC. I was a motivational speaker, facilitator, interactive trainer, and creative poetry and playwright up until passing.
I soared beyond conventional popular views, creating new visions that inspire others to take different paths and share the civic discourse, engaging across lines of differences. An extension of my current and prior affiliations, leadership, and participant roles include Independent Consultant for the Portland Police Bureau Equity and Inclusion Office, Development of Susan G. Komen African American Breast Cancer Initiative Data Collection, Community Liaison Walnut Park Homeless Shelter, NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Oregon Assembly of Black Affairs, and the Licensed Evangelist International COGIC. In 2016 I honed in on my skills as a candidate for Mayor of Portland.
I was preceded in death by my grandparents William and Sallie Allen, my parents John and Virginia Harris and my brother Lonnie Harris.
I am leaving in the hands of the Lord my three children Dia, Whitney and DeeAndrea Menefee. My eight grandchildren Marquise, Marquel, Dania, Jaydon, Zakia, Bryson, Kyree and Erynn. My siblings: Arma Harris (Elder Melvin Harris) University City, Missouri, Pastor John L. Harris (Barbara) Chicago, Illinois, and Deloris Turner, Peoria, Illinois. Nieces and Nephews: Darold Harris, Shrewsbury, Missouri, Monica Robinson (Darryl) North Ridgeville, Ohio, Todd Harris, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Darwin Harris (Claire) New York, New York- Jared Harris (Aqueelah) Atlanta, Georgia-Brandon Harris Lawrence, Kansas- Sherria Harris Chicago, Illinois- Shaun Harris- Chicago, Illinois The two patriarchs of the family: Deacon John Kellum (Phyllis) Kansas City, Missouri and Deacon James Mickens Dallas, Texas and my first cousin Michael Herman from Greenville, Mississippi.
I leave behind many cousins and close friends and my church family at Daniels Memorial COGIC.
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