United Nations Day
Rev. Richard Harris, UNA Leader Extraordinaire
Our friend Richard Harris brought passion, energy, and creativity to the UNA-USA for 30 years before his death August 19, 2011 at the age of 86.
Born in Massachusetts, Richard served in the U.S. Navy, WWII, 1943-1946, Atlantic & Pacific theatres; Normandy, France D-Day beach landing, June 6, 1944. Richard had a college and three graduate degrees and was an ordained minister. He leaves his wife Carole, seven children, and nine grandchildren.
Richard began his involvement with UNA-USA here in Southern California (SoCal) and was Santa Barbara United Nations Association (SBUNA) President 1981-1984, Executive Director 1984-1988, including Producer of a weekly Cable TV show on the UN for 7 years and on SoCal Division Board of Directors. He served the Hawaii UNA between 1988-1994 before returning to help lead the Pomona Valley chapter and the SoCal Division. Richard was UNA-USA SoCal Division Secretary 1994-1995; President 1996-99 (16 chapters); and Vice President 2000-11. He attended UN 40th Anniversary New York 1985; UN 50th Anniversary San Francisco 1995; and UNA-USA Annual Meeting or Convention every year and received the Arnold Goodman Award as outstanding lifetime volunteer in 2010. Richard met UN Secretaries-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Kofi Annan, and Ban Ki Moon.
Among his many contributions to UNA-USA, Richard arranged for speakers from the UN agencies, e.g., UNHCR, UNIC, UNDPI, UNICEF, et al. He coordinated the book of Children’s Peace Poetry for UN International Year for the Culture of Peace 2000. Richard served as Host/ Producer for weekly TV show on Claremont Public Access Television (CPAT). He provided networking & advocacy for the UN & UNA-USA. Promoting Peace vs. War – talking vs. shooting/bombing.
Those of us who were mentored, inspired, and loved by Richard Harris for the last 30 years will carry his passion and zeal forward for the UN, UNA-USA, peace, and human rights.