The Museum of Public Relations celebrates the life and legacy of Barbara C. Harris, a successful public relations pioneer and the first female Anglican bishop--who passed away during the height of the pandemic in 2020 at the age of 89.
Harris was born on June 12, 1930, in Philadelphia, PA. In the early 1950’s she began her public relations career at the first known Black-owned PR firm, Joseph V. Baker Associates, where she worked closely with Baker as her mentor. By 1958, she became president of the firm.
In 1968, she moved to Sun Oil Company, where she was one of the first and highest-ranking African American women to handle public relations for major corporate accounts, advancing in high-level positions multiple times up until 1977. Meanwhile, she played her part in the civil rights movement, marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma in 1965, and registering Black voters in Mississippi around the same time. Barbara was also an advocate of the women’s movement, campaigning for women to be involved in the Anglican clergy. In 1973, she was elected as president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, following in the footsteps of Joseph V. Baker.
Barbara then switched gears to embrace her religious background, working her way through the Anglican clergy, simultaneously applying her PR skills and experience to this new journey. She became the first female Anglican bishop in 1988 while serving roles at religious publications.
In a recent tribute to Harris, Diversity Advisor to the Office of the Dean at Temple University and Managing Director of CommonSoul Communications, David Brown notes, “Rev. Harris’ life was significant in so many ways as she challenged the status quo with the power of her convictions and her talents as a communicator.”
Learn more about the life and work of Barbara C. Harris... ➡️ https://bit.ly/3j5Urib
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