联众棋牌官网When looking for leadership, for partnership, or for friendship, you look for someone who is steady—someone who stands firm because she knows where her roots are planted. Someone who, in uncertain times, will find a way forward by looking up and ahead. Someone who can see the light, can point it out, and who is willing to press toward it—and lead the way for others.

For us at Bennett College, that leader, partner and friend was Andrea Harris. When she closed her eyes for the last time on May 20, 2020, it was a breathtaking loss. We are devastated.

联众棋牌官网We are not alone. From across the state and around the world came expressions of heartbreak, admiration and praise. She is remembered as a force:

“dignified and fierce”
“a faithful friend and mentor”
“wonderful role model and advocate”
“a trailblazer who never stopped fighting for social, economic, and racial equity”
“a model of determination and resilience”
“Small in stature but a giant in everything she touched”

联众棋牌官网You knew from the arch of her brow and the wry slant of her smile that she was not to be underestimated. She had smart ideas and strong opinions—and she let them be known. But she listened, too. She encouraged others. That was the nature of her leadership, developed over a lifetime of service and decades of engagement in her beloved communities.  

Born in Sumter, South Carolina and raised in Henderson, North Carolina, her formative years were molded by the Civil Rights Movement. Her commitment to serve was honed and fired at Bennett College. It was as a student here in the late 1960s that she began to work to support community organizations that advocated for change and improvement in the lives of women, the aged, the poor, and people of color.

联众棋牌官网When she graduated in 1970, after a brief stint as a public school teacher, she was drawn back to her calling as a community advocate and she followed that path for the rest of her life. She was only 23 when she became Executive Director of Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity, Inc. As one of the youngest community agency directors in the nation, she began a career that lasted for more than five decades, leading organizations that focused on economic justice as a way to uplift individuals and communities across race, class, gender and condition.

When Andrea Harris “retired,” she didn’t retire. She became a Senior Fellow at Self-Help Credit Union. Governor Roy Cooper tapped her to serve on the state's Advisory Council for Historically Underutilized Businesses. She shared her talent and experience in her capacity as a board member for economic development organizations around the state. She remained an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

The thread that ran through her work was the desire to see people—all people—prosper. She lived her life working to improve the lives of the elderly, the poor and those who had need. The caliber and significance of her contributions to the state of North Carolina will be felt for generations.

联众棋牌官网The value of her contributions to Bennett College can never be measured. She has been our steady and certain champion through our challenges and she has contributed immeasurably to our triumphs. As a tireless member of Bennett College National Alumnae Association, she stepped in whenever she was asked and wherever she was needed. She also served two extended terms on the Board of Trustees, giving her time, her ideas and her resources. But she did more than occupy a seat at the table. She was a presence on campus, attending events, carrying on the traditions of her alma mater, and engaging with students, faculty and staff with both warmth and wisdom. Her Bennett sisters were always at the center of her heart.

联众棋牌官网She loved Bennett College not only for what it gave to her but for what she believed it would do for other young women. She gave this counsel to young Belles: “Believe in yourself and grab hold of this culture of self-affirmation that exists at Bennett…. It is that health and wholeness of self that assures you will find fulfillment deep inside your souls in whatever else you elect to do. You will be a better person for it.”

This advice was not just lip service; she lived by it. She was that better person.

联众棋牌官网“I decided to be a part of saving the world,” Harris once said of her youthful ambitions. “I thought I was invincible.”

联众棋牌官网We thought she was, too. To us, she always seemed too resilient to be defeated, too resolute to be overcome, too wise to be outwitted. She was our sister whose devotion never wavered. We relied on that. And now, while we are distraught by the loss of her presence, we affirm that her light will never go out as long as we stand in her legacy and as long as we remember her name.

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联众棋牌官网When looking for leadership, for partnership, or for friendship, you look for someone who is steady—someone who stands firm because she knows where her roots are planted. Someone who, in uncertain times, will find a way forward by looking up and ahead. Someone who can see the light, can point it out, and who is willing to press toward it—and lead the way for others.

For us at Bennett College, that leader, partner and friend was Andrea Harris. When she closed her eyes for the last time on May 20, 2020, it was a breathtaking loss. We are devastated.

We are not alone. From across the state and around the world came expressions of heartbreak, admiration and praise. She is remembered as a force:

“dignified and fierce”
“a faithful friend and mentor”
“wonderful role model and advocate”
“a trailblazer who never stopped fighting for social, economic, and racial equity”
“a model of determination and resilience”
联众棋牌官网 “Small in stature but a giant in everything she touched”

You knew from the arch of her brow and the wry slant of her smile that she was not to be underestimated. She had smart ideas and strong opinions—and she let them be known. But she listened, too. She encouraged others. That was the nature of her leadership, developed over a lifetime of service and decades of engagement in her beloved communities.

联众棋牌官网Born in Sumter, South Carolina and raised in Henderson, North Carolina, her formative years were molded by the Civil Rights Movement. Her commitment to serve was honed and fired at Bennett College. It was as a student here in the late 1960s that she began to work to support community organizations that advocated for change and improvement in the lives of women, the aged, the poor, and people of color.

联众棋牌官网When she graduated in 1970, after a brief stint as a public school teacher, she was drawn back to her calling as a community advocate and she followed that path for the rest of her life. She was only 23 when she became Executive Director of Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity, Inc. As one of the youngest community agency directors in the nation, she began a career that lasted for more than five decades, leading organizations that focused on economic justice as a way to uplift individuals and communities across race, class, gender and condition.

In 1986, she co-founded the non-profit North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development to support minority and women-owned businesses. She led the organization, also home to the Women’s Business Center of NC, until 2014, contributing to public policy, engaging in education and training, and developing programs to help enhance the success of businesspeople across sectors. Her strategy was to work with financial, government and policy-making institutions—challenging them when necessary and partnering whenever possible—to create opportunities for minority- and women-owned firms. She was especially proud of the work that The Institute did to research and document the impact and value of HBCUs as major economic engines in their communities.

When Andrea Harris “retired,” she didn’t retire. She became a Senior Fellow at Self-Help Credit Union. Governor Roy Cooper tapped her to serve on the state's Advisory Council for Historically Underutilized Businesses. She shared her talent and experience in her capacity as a board member for economic development organizations around the state. She remained an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

The thread that ran through her work was the desire to see people—all people—prosper. She lived her life working to improve the lives of the elderly, the poor and those who had need. The caliber and significance of her contributions to the state of North Carolina will be felt for generations.

The value of her contributions to Bennett College can never be measured. She has been our steady and certain champion through our challenges and she has contributed immeasurably to our triumphs. As a tireless member of Bennett College National Alumnae Association, she stepped in whenever she was asked and wherever she was needed. She also served two extended terms on the Board of Trustees, giving her time, her ideas and her resources. But she did more than occupy a seat at the table. She was a presence on campus, attending events, carrying on the traditions of her alma mater and engaging with students, faculty and staff with both warmth and wisdom. Her Bennett sisters were always at the center of her heart.

She loved Bennett College not only for what it gave to her but for what she believed it would do for other young women. She gave this counsel to young Belles: “Believe in yourself and grab hold of this culture of self-affirmation that exists at Bennett…. It is that health and wholeness of self that assures you will find fulfillment deep inside your souls in whatever else you elect to do. You will be a better person for it.”

This advice was not just lip service; she lived by it. She was that better person.

“I decided to be a part of saving the world,” Harris once said of her youthful ambitions. “I thought I was invincible.”

联众棋牌官网We thought she was, too. To us, she always seemed too resilient to be defeated, too resolute to be overcome, too wise to be outwitted. She was our sister whose devotion never wavered. We relied on that. And now, while we are distraught by the loss of her presence, we affirm that her light will never go out as long as we stand in her legacy and as long as we remember her name.

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A SENATORIAL STATEMENT

HONORING THE LIFE AND MEMORY OF ANDREA LYNETTE HARRIS

WHEREAS,联众棋牌官网 Andrea Lynette Harris grew up in Henderson, North Carolina during the heart of the civil rights movement, graduated from Bennett College in 1970, and, after college, became the Executive Director of the Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity, Inc., a community action agency in her hometown; and

WHEREAS,联众棋牌官网 later Andrea Harris served as Director of Management and Information for the North Carolina Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency and was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to the Historically Underutilized Business Advisory Council, where she helped to increase the growth of minority- and women-owned businesses exponentially in North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, Andrea Harris was the co-founder and President of the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development in Durham, North Carolina from 1986 to 2014 and was also the co-founder of the Women and Minority Business Centers. She retired to become a Senior Fellow of the Self-Help Credit Union; and

WHEREAS, as a Bennett Belle, Andrea Harris believed in the value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and created the North Carolina HBCU Alumni Advisory Council; and

WHEREAS, Andrea Harris served on the Board of Trustees for Bennett College for two extended terms from 1987-1997 and again between the years of 2010-2020; and

WHEREAS联众棋牌官网, Andrea Harris received many awards, including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bennett College and was a Lifetime Achievement recipient of the Triangle Business Journal’s 2014 Diversity Awards;

NOW, THEREFORE, Andrea Lynette Harris deserves to be honored as a cheerleader and creator for businesses in limited resource communities, such as minority- and women-owned firms and disabled veteran-owned enterprises, and to be recognized for her service to humanity.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF,联众棋牌官网 the undersigned certifies that the foregoing statement was read in the Senate and placed upon the Journal on the 2nd day of June 2020.

Submitted by Senator Gladys Robinson

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Write a tribute in memory and honor of Andrea L. Harris '70.

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26 entries.
Henry M. Lancaster II from Raleigh, NC wrote on June 11, 2020 at 9:05 am:
A tree has fallen Crumble, tumble, rumble, thud My heart beat skips. Andrea will be sorely missed but never forgotten.
Sandra Philpott-Burke from Detroit, Michigan wrote on June 2, 2020 at 6:07 pm:
Andrea was a beautiful Belle that is gone too soon. She served in my cabinet when I was Student Government President at Bennett. She was always a strong and dependable member. She was a remarkable individual who represented her community, her state, her business interests and her alma mater with the utmost enthusiasm. She will truly be missed.
Janice R Crump from Alexandria wrote on May 27, 2020 at 11:29 am:
ANDREA HARRIS was a FORCE! Small in stature with a commanding voice, an indestructible spirit, and an unquenchable passion for Minority Business Development. I loved her as my Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Sister, and as a loyal and true friend. There are many entrepreneurs of color who owe the success of their booming businesses to her relentless efforts to level the playing field for people of color. Always friendly, faithful, and dependable, she never let anyone down. May she rest in peace - a soldier who "Fought the good fight, Finished the race, and Kept the Faith." Janice R. Crump President JRC Communications II Timothy KJV
Gwendolyn Mackel Rice from Chicago, IL wrote on May 26, 2020 at 7:34 pm:
For two years, I was privileged to serve with our Sister Belle Andrea on the Bennett College Board of Trustees. Her service to Bennett as an alumna first, and secondly, as a trustee, was unparalleled. Though she was tiny of stature, she left big shoes for others to walk in and continue her legacy of social, economic, and racial justice. She was a Belle who did it well!
Dr. Joyce Bass Valentine '78 from Wake Forest NC wrote on May 26, 2020 at 7:15 pm:
It's been nearly one week since I got a text message with the news. One of the most inspiring and no nonsense women I'd ever met was gone. Her spunk, her determination and her go get it attitude gone. I thought about the first time I met her. It was an alumnae weekend. She had spoken to us at a business meeting as Trustee Harris. When she finished, I knew I had to introduce myself... I had to connect with this woman. Who knew she grew up in Granville County...so did I. We knew some of the same people... We connected and so began my admiration for her style, her achievements and her contributions...her love for social justice...We connected. Andrea always encouraged me and told me I could do what I set my heart to. Becoming an education 'Dr." was my goal ... When it was completed...her question was 'what's next?' I will miss her.. I will keep her question 'what's next' as the next journey... I will answer her 'what's next?' and follow the road less travelled. Rest in peace Sister Andrea... Rest in peace.

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Social Media Tributes

Stories, memories and tributes about Andrea Harris shared on Twitter. #LegacyOfMsAndreaHarris #AndreaHarris

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