Marqueece Harris-Dawson

President and CEO

Marqueece Harris-DawsonMarqueece Harris-Dawson has been a leader in the South Los Angeles community for more than 20 years leading important social justice campaigns aimed at improving the quality of life for all African American and Latino residents in the community.

As President and CEO of Community Coalition, Harris-Dawson has been deeply involved and committed to the organization’s mission, working arduously to improve the social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles that lead to crime, violence, substance abuse and poverty.

Harris-Dawson came to the helm of Community Coalition in 2004 following years as a community organizer, leader and director – leading some of the organization’s first major education justice victories. Founded in 1990 by now-Congresswoman Karen Bass and a group of activists, the Community Coalition is best known for leading nationally recognized grassroots campaigns that include groundbreaking nuisance abatement work to close over 150 liquor stores and educational justice campaigns to transform the quality of public education.

In the 1990s, Harris-Dawson served as the director of the Community Coalition youth project, South Central Youth Empowered Through Action (SCYEA), leading the Proposition Better Buildings campaign to expose the poor conditions at South Los Angeles high schools. Arming youth with disposable cameras to document the poor conditions of their schools, and training them to advocate for badly needed repairs at their campuses, Harris-Dawson helped students win $153 million in school repairs in 1999.  Recently, Harris-Dawson led the concerted efforts of the African American Redistricting Collaborative (AARC) to ensure that African Americans had a voice in the California redistricting process.

In addition to his work at the Community Coalition, Harris-Dawson has extensive experience in electoral politics, and is a key participant in the progressive movement in Los Angeles. During his time completing a Bachelor’s degree at Morehouse College, Harris-Dawson became active with several important social justice issues of the time, including organizing in the international movement to end South African Apartheid, fighting against police brutality, and working to bring more youth and family services to those who needed them the most.

Along with a host of board and committee posts, Harris-Dawson has been recognized with several community commendations, recognitions and awards including the coveted Do Something “BRICK” Award and Liberty Hill Foundation’s Upton Sinclair Award. Harris-Dawson was recently honored with The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) Sabbatical Program Award. He holds a certificate in non-profit management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and is a currently an Aspen Institute Fellow for New Leaders.

Marqueece Harris-Dawson can be reached at mh-d@cocosouthla.org