Chris Harris

Where were you born and raised?
Kansas City, Missouri.

What is your occupation?
Executive director of Harris Park Midtown Sports

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Riding my tricycle on the hardwood floors at 4029 Wayne, my childhood house. For some reason, that just stuck out in my head for years.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
Remembering impressive people who have paved the way for the United States of America and given hopes and dreams and opportunities to people that follow.

What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the Black community?
Taking ownership of our communities. Opening their doors to our community and welcoming all. Continuing to make change and make sure that we are welcoming to every individual in America.

When did you realize you were Black in America and what has that meant for your life?
I realized I was Black at a very young age and I understood how people look at a Black neighborhood and people coming out of a Black neighborhood. Being Black in America is a challenge. You can go with the norm of what people think. Or you can change things, be part of the solution, change your neighborhood and the mindset of the people in your neighborhood and out of your neighborhood by motivating and inspiring the adults and the youth the best way you possibly can and live by example.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration to push for change?
There's a stigma that the neighborhood I grew up in was a bad neighborhood that was motivation that was instilled in me at a very young age. I have dedicated my life to change that mindset within the community and people outside of the community. My goal was to beautify our community and change the mindset about our community that this is a nice community.

How have you supported or contributed to the local Black community?
I've been instrumental in changing nine city blocks and building single-family apartments and using Harris Park as green space. I've providing security through Harris Park Midtown Sports programs at Harris Park while new homes are being built in the community. I'm purchasing rehab homes to clean up our neighborhood. I've helped build a park on 40th and Wayne and help revitalizing a park on 43rd and Brooklyn as well as partially blighted land on 44th Street between Wayne and Flora, cleaning it up and selling it to a homeowner who promised to maintain and keep it clean, which he has done.

Your home for the Tokyo Olympics!