Bishop R.W. Harris, a Silver Life Member of the Freeport/Roosevelt NAACP, has ben involved with the NAACP since he was seventeen (17) years old starting with the Harlem Branch. At the age of twenty (20) he traveled on the NAACP Bus to the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the “I Have A Dream” Speech. Bishop Harris’ civil rights pursuits continued after he joined the NYS Housing Police Department, where he was a leader in a successful lawsuit against the NYC Housing Police Department for their unfair treatment of Black Police Officers (Guardians Association).
Bishop Harris, a John Jay College Criminal Justice graduate, as well as a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy, retired from law enforcement as a Detective Lieutenant. He retains membership in NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives), the Guardians Association (Police Chaplain) and One Hundred Black Men, Nassau/Suffolk. He was appointed as one of three (3) “founding” Commissioners of the Nassau County Conditional Release Commission (Parole Board). He served three years, resigning to accept a Police Chaplaincy position with the County’s Police Department. The Bishop holds a B.A. Degree in Religious Education and Theology. Bishop Harris also serves Nassau County as a member of the County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
Bishop and Pastor of Grace Cathedral International along with his wife, Pastor Novella Harris, Educator, they have an intense vision to serve the community. In 1995 they constructed a state of the arts Sure Foundation Child Care Center. In 2005, a second building was constructed, Grace Multi-Cultural Center, which houses several diverse programs, i.e., after school anti-gang initiatives, such as computer assisted homework help, karate, music lessons, dance, electrical, golf, and conflict resolution. Additionally, they have an “SOS” (Save Our Sanity) Program for children with special needs and respite parents program.
With all of this, Bishop Harris still finds time to conduct International Crusades, having done so in Ghana three (3) times, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa; not to forget two crusades in Madras and Ooty, India; Cebu City, Philippines and most recently to Haiti twice to assist with the relief effort delivering medicines to the hospital and food, clothing and cash to the orphanages of the local ministries. Lastly, Bishop Harris has taken hundreds of people during his nine pilgrimages to Israel, Egypt and Jordan. For participating in “Conversations of Understanding” with members of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), Bishop was awarded a “Peace Award” by the Israel Government, and the Bishop was invited twice to return to Israel on a Government expense paid visits.
As of recently, Bishop R.W. Harris has been an ardent supporter of “Next Generation” housing such as the Holly Patterson Extended Care site which is scheduled to be redeveloped later this year, to curtail the growing list of young people who go away to college and do not return.
Bishop Harris and his wife Novella are very proud of their four children who are making a difference in our community. Darlene Harris McCabe, Esq., Commissioner of the Nassau County Assessment Review Commission, Robert Wayne Harris, Superintendent of the Roosevelt Schools, Richard Troy Harris, Uniondale Fire Commissioner and Jalana Harris, Psychotherapist.