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Jakeel R. Harris, M.S. is an educator, speaker, community organizer, author, and spoken-word poet that tackles topics of social justice, leadership, and self-awareness. He is the founder of Project SPEAKS, Inc., through which he offers services as an Educational Consultant. He is a higher education professional with over 8 years of experience working within different student services departments and support programs. Jakeel's areas of concentration in higher education include providing equity-based programming, promoting leadership development, and placing a heavy emphasis on co-curricular involvement. He specializes in embedding student engagement approaches in his practice to increase student involvement and student success.

His activism includes a strong focus on promoting and encouraging pro-Blackness, engaging in community restoration, and providing equitable resources to disadvantaged communities. He holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling with an emphasis on Student Development in Higher Education (SDHE) from California State University, Long Beach, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Humboldt State University.


Although born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Harris was raised in Oceanside, California where he began his post-secondary education at MiraCosta Community College. It was there where he was involved in cultural clubs and organizations such as the Black Student Union, UMOJA, and Performance Writer’s Club, all of which set the foundation and help guide his focus and purpose. 

As Founder & CEO of Project SPEAKS, Inc. (501c3), Harris uses his platform to portray and promote Blackness in a positive manner. He encourages all people, especially those who come from Black, Indigenous, or African ancestry, to connect to their cultural roots, embrace their identity, and build pride in who they are.



"Be Ready Every Amazing Thing Happens Eventually. In other words, BREATHE."- Jakeel Harris

Self-growth begins with open-mindedness and belief in one’s abilities. Growth is a life-long process that isn’t an individual journey, but one that starts with self-realization. A willingness to learn and having genuine empathy are essential steps in determining how to treat people fairly and justly. Strong relationships are kept stable with honesty and building trust. Sustainable development is the pathway to social justice, economic growth, and self-perseverance.



He currently serves as the Leadership Development Coordinator at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He also serves as the Professional Expert/Instructor for the Upward Bound Program at Mt. San Antonio College. 


Through his non-profit, Project SPEAKS, Inc., Jakeel offers a variety of services including: 

  • Keynote Speeches and Presentations

  • Featured Poetry Performances 

  • Workshop Facilitation 

Workshop Topics Include: 

  • Social Justice Matters 

  • Race and Identity: Discovery through self-awareness 

  • Access, Class, and Mobility: Started from the bottom, and I am still here

  • Self-Reflective Journaling 

  • Building the Leader in You

  • Housing 101: Surviving and Thriving in Campus Housing

  • Enhancing Team Dynamics 

  • Self-Advocacy and Building Boundaries

  • Event Planning and Decision Making: Programming with a Purpose 

  • Conflict and Mediation: Why U Mad Though?

  • Navigating the Black Experience in College 

  • Transforming Positive Thoughts in Action 

  • Healing Through Your Narrative


Follow me on IG: @iamjakeelharris

Jakeel performs and writes spoken word poetry under the pseudonym SPEAKS, covering topics of race and identity, while using his life experiences as a platform to discuss important issues that plague our society. SPEAKS is an acronym for Spreads Positivity Encourage Awareness Know Something, which is also the non-profit organization and movement he has founded. He has performed his poetry at various venues such as California State University, Long Beach, California State University, San Marcos, California State University, Bakersfield, and MiraCosta Community College. Jakeel is also available by request.

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