Joyce Harris, community outreach manager at Education Northwest, received a lifetime achievement award from the Portland Human Rights Commission on Dec. 2 at the Emily G. Gottfried Human Rights Awards ceremony.
In his introduction, Dante James, director of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights, praised Harris’ dedication to improving the lives of children and youth facing inequity in education.
James also said “Miss Joyce” had made a difference in the lives of several audience members, whom Harris thanked (along with her family) in her remarks.
“I don’t often think about a lifetime of work,” she said. “I just do what needs to be done because it needs to be done.”
Before coming to Education Northwest, Harris served as an administrator at the Black Educational Center, a school she co-founded in Portland, from 1980 to 1993.
Harris’ career is full of highlights, but she considers her most memorable to be presenting at both Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the annual Leveraging Resources joint conference through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs and Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Harris’ work with survivors of Hurricane Katrina led to Portland Monthly recognizing her as one of the 25 people who most define Portland.
Other 2016 recipients of the Emily G. Gottfried Human Rights Awards include CAUSA (outstanding organization) and Sean Davis (emerging leader).
To learn more about the awards, visit the website of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights.