I was born and raised in Bellmore, NY, and currently live in Virginia 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 I learned how to promote systemic equity, access, and justice in schools. I also attained a master of divinity degree from Virginia Union University, where I more deeply explored the intersection of my faith and social responsibility. I am honored to have served as a high school counselor in suburban, urban, and rural communities, taught undergraduate and graduate students at top-tier universities, published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, held elected state and national leadership roles in educational organizations, and founded and pastored a nondenominational worship community.

My passion is to help all people discover, develop, and deploy their God-given talents. I deliver in-person and virtual speaking and training across the nation to K-20 students and educators, high school and collegiate athletic department leadership, church leaders, and non-profit and business leaders on topics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. I also provide personal coaching services.

Research to Practice

My areas of expertise are anchored in my experience as a high school counselor, teacher, scholar, and pastor, and broadly focuses on three areas: 1) The academic, emotional, and career development of K-20 students and adults, with emphasis on Black communities; 2) The identity development process of Black male student-athletes; and 3) Cultivating social emotional competence, along with diversity, equity, and inclusion in individuals and organizations.

Ready Athletes is a mobile application comprised of informational messages that support the college and career readiness for all athletes, particularly Black athletes.

Ready Athletes Mobile App Will Be Back Online 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.

Speaking Engagements

I speak with diverse groups including, but not limited to, K-20 students, teachers, professors, counselors, school administrators, athletes, coaches, governing boards, and churches. I intentionally curate inviting spaces and make current research and best practices accessible to all, facilitating your empowerment to create change in your sphere of influence.

select keynotes and workshops

Pursuing Cultural Competence

Black History: When a Moral Imperative is Not Enough

Student Athletes and Mental Health

Who Am I Without The Ball

Teammates Matter

Promoting SEL With Black Male Student-Athletes

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