In 1960, he initiated the Hopewell Improvement Association, an affiliate of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was elected Vice President.. He was named to the Board of Directors of the National SCLC in 1961 while Martin Luther King, Jr. was president. Harris worked with Dr. King on many civil rights initiatives, including the Selma to Montgomery marches. Harris cites Dr. King as one of his mentors in the civil rights movement. He served as president of the Virginia State Unit of SCLC from 1963 - 1998, and was elected the National SCLC Vice President in 2005.
Rev. Harris was elected to the Hopewell City Council in 1986 and in 1998, he was sworn in as the first African-American mayor of Hopewell.
Colonial Heights, Va., Rejects SCLC Demands ; Council of Nearly All-White City Denies That Race Problem Exists
Apr 16, 1987; The City Council of Colonial Heights has rejected demands by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference that it take steps to...