Melissa Harris-Perry


Professor Melissa Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University. Melissa is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center and Wake the Vote. She is an award-winning author and sought after public speaker. Together with her husband, James Perry, she is a principal of Perry Partnership, offering both political and private consulting.

Well-behaved women rarely make history



Teaching. Innovating. Learning.

A professor for 20 years, Harris-Perry has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and Tulane University. In 2014, she returned to her undergraduate alma mater, Wake Forest University where she continues her work as a scholar, teacher, and campus innovator.




Melissa Harris-Perry contributes her voice, resources, and work to build and sustain equitable communities governed by democratic practices. This includes her work as a trustee of The Century Foundation, her role as board member for the Diaper Bank of North Carolina, and her daily family life on Anna’s Park Homestead where fresh eggs and sustainable practices govern daily effort.


BuILD. Train. Run.

In 2018, James Perry and Melissa Harris-Perry founded Perry Partnership to identify new talent, develop civic capacity, train political candidates, deepen democratic engagement, expand opportunities for real people to make a real difference in their communities and our country.



lectures. dialouges. workshops.

Melissa Harris-Perry is a sought after public speaker, lecturing both domestically and abroad. She is creative, dynamic, practical, and engaging. MHP has taught students from grade school to graduate school and trained professionals in corporations, non-profits, and political organizations. MHP has been widely recognized and hailed for her commitment to democratic deliberation.


Books. Print. Digital.

Melissa Harris-Perry is the an award winning author of two books. Her latest, Sister Citizen, Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America has inspired many both within and beyond the Academe. She is editor-at-large for, covering issues affecting women and girls of color.


Media Pro

Broadcast. digital. diversity

Committed to diversifying American journalism and mentoring emerging public voices, Professor Harris-Perry has developed and implemented innovative mentoring efforts including the scholars program and BLACK ON CAMPUS. She hosted the award winning television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” from 2012-2016 on weekend mornings on MSNBC and in 2016, she won the Hillman Prize for broadcast journalism.

Harris-Perry facilitated discussions on everything from the long and complicated history of mass incarceration to the gendered and racialized politics of climate change, toys or even sneakers, throwing together community members with leading academics, organizers, bloggers and journalists. All rubbed shoulders on an equal footing, and at the center of these debates stood one group that is arguably one of the most marginalized and ignored in American society: black women
— The Guardian March 2016