MDC mourns the passing of Andrea Harris

MDC mourns the passing of Andrea Harris, a pioneer born into the Civil Rights Movement who founded the Institute of Minority Economic Development in Durham and helped thousands of women and people of color across North Carolina build their own businesses. She was 72.

Andrea was an important and special colleague of MDC. From our earliest work together in an important bridge-building, community strategic-visioning project in her native Vance County, to her leadership on the Made in Durham Task Force as MDC facilitated the creation of an education-to-career system for Durham’s youth.


There were many connections in between, and Andrea always led with a commitment to the most economically vulnerable people. She was fiercely committed to an economy that worked fairly, for everyone, and she was always generous with her time, her commanding intellect, her powerful voice and her gracious spirit.

“She has left all of us a precious gift – the spirit and responsibility of continuing her work,” wrote Kevin J. Price, current President and CEO of the organization she founded, now known as The Institute. “Fortunately, The Institute remains an anchor in our community, dedicated to our mission – to strengthen the asset base of diverse populations through policy, education and opportunities.”

MDC has been inspired by Andrea’s example and will honor her life by continuing to work for equity and opportunity in all we do.

Click here for an obituary of Ms. Harris.