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Jakeel R. Harris, M.S. is an educator, speaker, community organizer, author, and spoken-word poet who tackles topics of social justice, leadership, and self-awareness. He is the Founder and CEO of Project SPEAKS, Inc., through which he offers services as an Educational Consultant. He is a higher education professional with 10 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. Jakeel uses his knowledge, experience, and creative outlets to teach, educate, and expose people to different perspectives in hopes of promoting social and personal awareness.

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 California Polytechnic State University, Humboldt.


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 that 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 helped guide his focus and purpose. 

As Founder and 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 Assistant Director of Residential Student Experience at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly SLO). 

Empty Chairs


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 

  • Dealing with Conflict and Mediation: Why U Mad Though?

  • Navigating the Black Experience in College 

  • Transforming Positive Thoughts in Action 

  • Healing Through Your Narrative

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram


Poetry is vulnerability in its greatest art form! Writing has been a coping mechanism, a healing method, self-care activity, and way for Jakeel to express himself to the world. In 2006, he started writing poetry after watching performances on the hit television show, Def Poetry Jam. Fascinated by the wordplay, display of emotions, and connection to the audience that was shown in the episodes, a love for poetry was sparked. In 2012, Jakeel took the stage for the first time at MiraCosta College performing his art. Since then, he has been sought out to perform his poetry at various events, venues, and college campuses all throughout the United States.


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.

Follow Jakeel instagram: @iamjakeelharris
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