I was born and raised in Bellmore, NY, and currently live in Pennsylvania with my wife and three children. I earned my B.S.Ed. in Health & Physical Education with a concentration in Sports Medicine and my M.Ed. in School Counseling from the University of Virginia. I completed my Ph.D. in counselor education from the University of Maryland, where the program’s emphasis was on promoting systemic equity, access, and justice in schools through counseling. I also attained a master of divinity degree from Virginia Union University.

My passion is to help all people discover and deploy their God-given talents, and especially those from underserved and historically marginalized groups.

Through my counseling, research, teaching, preaching, training, and speaking, I develop culturally competent, anti-racist leaders across industries who passionately pursue their purpose. 


My research draws from my previous experience as a high school counselor and focuses on three areas: 1) Investigating the college and career readiness needs process of Black youth; 2) Analyzing the identity development process of Black male student-athletes and the role of school counselors in facilitating their multidimensional sense of self; and 3) Examining the process of training school counselors to promote equity and access in K-12 schools. My work has been funded by numerous agencies, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

I currently serve on the editorial review board for the Professional School Counseling journal and on the Senior Advisory Board for The Professional Counselor journal. I am also the former president of the Virginia School Counselor Association and former member of the Board of Directors for the American School Counselor Association.


Ready Athletes exists to see all athletes, particularly Black athletes, ready for college and career.

Ready Athletes Mobile App Coming Back Soon!

Men Passionately Pursuing Purpose (MP3) is a small group counseling curriculum designed to promote the college and career readiness of Black male student-athletes through healthy identity development.


I speak with diverse groups including, but not limited to, K-16 students, teachers, counselors, school administrators, athletes, coaches, governing boards, and churches. I intentionally curate inviting spaces that make current research accessible to all and enables you to leave empowered to create change in your sphere of influence.

select keynotes and training

Implement MP3 with Fidelity

Effectively Use Ready Athletes Mobile App

Communicate for Change: Critical Consciousness Matters

Engage Parents of Underserved Students

When a Moral Imperative is Not Enough

Who Am I Without The Ball

Teammates Matter

Minimize the Race Gap in College Completion

Teach to Save Black Lives

select partners and clients

Charlottesville City Schools

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Albemarle County Public Schools

West Virginia University Athletics

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

American School Counselor Association

NYC Men Teach – The City University of New York

Virginia College Advising Corps

Dr. Paul Harris is an outstanding educator and professional. I have had the pleasure of working with him at both the collegiate and national level. He always focuses on what messaging and methods are best to meet the needs of the students and professionals in attendance. Dr. Harris strives to create interactive and introspective presentations that captivate his audience and make an impact long after the session ends.

Holly Deering, M.ed., Associate Director, Apple institute, University of virginia

Dr. Paul Harris is a masterful educator, scholar, preacher, and counselor with heart and commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, diversity and well-being. It is a pleasure, privilege and blessing to know him professionally and personally.

Cheryl bailey Gittens, ed.d., associate vice provost, University of wisconsin-madison

Paul is fantastic at engaging people in thoughtful dialogue! He quickly connects with audiences through his honest, caring approach.

susie bruce, m.ed., director, gordie center, university of virginia

Dr. Harris is a phenomenal presence. He was our featured Town Hall speaker November 2020 for the topic, “Teaching to Save Black Lives: On Teaching, Protesting and Revolutionizing Education.” Our Town Hall series features experts and scholars who address current themes and diverse issues in education. Dr. Harris’ expertise, content knowledge and first-hand experience as a practitioner working with underrepresented student populations helped to situate the conversation and connection with our student and scholarly community. Dr. Harris’ “real talk” style and presentation resonated deeply with our students, and his concrete, solution-oriented wisdom was the impetus our urban educators needed to continue championing the cause of freedom for all.

Nathaniel smith, director, NYC men teach/queens college of the city university of new york