Today we’d like to introduce you to James Harris.
James was a ward of the state and emancipated himself at age 16. During his time in a foster home and group homes, counseling was mandatory but the therapist at that time was not relateable due to culture, there was an age difference, ethnic difference and class difference. Later, James joins the Army and returned from two deployments and seen this similar issue with the therapist while fellow veterans wanted treatment for PTSD or stress. That prompted James to act and do something about the lack of diversity and resources not only in the field of therapy but in the demographics of African Americans and men.
To date, James Harris lives in Chesterfield VA. He has a daughter named Peyton. He is a resident of counseling after completing graduate school and obtaining a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. James is a military veteran, who has served in two deployments, Iraq and Afghanistan. Since completing his degree, James has a solid plan to take the state test to get licensed in VA to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) followed by starting his practice as well as a program for veterans that he has already written. James has founded a movement called “Men to Heal”, which is focused on getting men back focused on their overall wellness mental and physical health. James currently do community based services as well as see the client in a private practice setting. James is currently an employee for the Government in an area that is classified, he currently holds a clearance above top-secret. Alongside working for the Government, James is a local investor in the city and surrounding area. He owns multiple properties, that are being rented.
Three of his most noticeable investment’s in the city are Roney and Son Towing company, Braidz Express and the Brewers Café which is located in the Manchester district of south side Richmond. He is the owner of Royalty Carpet Care LLC, Royalty Elite Trans (party bus), Battle Ball Extreme (inflatable bubble suits), has a consultant company and is co-owner of Brewers Waffles and The Well art gallery. James often conducts monthly meetings on financial literacy to people who need help. He plans is to continue a strong path in entrepreneurship. James volunteers often in church, community, hospitals, veteran homes and schools. With all of his communities and activism in the city. With his Men to Heal movement, James conducts quarterly sessions on various topics for men with assisting in ending the stigma.
These sessions are roughly two hours long and have approximately 65 attendees since its start and the awareness is growing. James also conducts sessions via skype for other states and countries (Spain, Germany, Amsterdam and Afghanistan). There are over 500 supporters who have purchased shirts in their efforts to bring awareness and attention to the movement. Celebrities and athletes agree with this movement and have expressed their interest with also purchasing shirts or displaying support on their social media.
James has a strong sense of leadership and effective ways and plans to make the community a better place. With deep roots in the community and business, he is essential to ensuring the needs are met for this organization. James has met with the Mayor, Governor, civil rights leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other local leaders to name a few.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a rough road or a smooth journey but well worth it. The process of reeducating the people I come in contact with on why therapy is beneficial. Assisting men on why it is ok to display the proper emotions and express themselves without relating vulnerability to weakness.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am an African American male therapist which in some areas I am seen as a unicorn. The field of therapy is woman dominate and there is not a lot of men regardless of ethnicity. My brand and movement are authentic in assisting people with obtaining resources, linking connections and removing the stigma of men and therapy. I host a quarterly session in the community around various men related topics on wellness such as depression, emotions, feelings, substance use, etc. I am in the process of writing a boys/men interactive journal.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was in a foster home and group home. I am the oldest of three a brother and sister. My father died when I was approximately five or six. My mother later became diagnosed with epilepsy and was no longer able to care for the three of us due to that in addition to strokes. I was always open to helping others and I did just that at an early age volunteering and helping in the community. In college, I ran several groups on tutoring, community service and wellness.
- support T-shirts and hoodies (T-shirt $20 and hoodie $30)
- interactive journal will be available everywhere books are sold
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @men_to_heal