In October, David J. Harris, managing director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, received the Massachusetts Governor’s Award in the Humanities. Harris was one of four leaders recognized for their “public actions, grounded in an appreciation of the humanities, to enhance civic life in the Commonwealth.”
Gov. Charlie Baker recognized the recipients during an award ceremony held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Oct. 28.
Harris was recognized for his work as chairman of Mass Humanities and as an ongoing member of the foundation’s Advisory Board. In 2005, Harris hatched the idea and helped to plan the re-enactment of the commemoration of the Selma march. Ten years ago, he created the Reading Frederick Douglass program and, in 2013, he worked on the Sesquicentennial of the end of the civil war, including the Foundation-funded play on Toussaint Louverture.
Harris joined the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute in 2006. He previously served as founding executive director of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston. He has served on many boards, including Mass Humanities (as president 2006-2008), and he is currently the chair of the Massachusetts Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.