Transforming Misery to Motivation –
A Compelling Message by Riccardo Harris

Transforming Misery to Motivation

A Compelling Call to Action
by Pastor Riccardo Harris

A call-to-action has been placed upon educator, author and Pastor Riccardo Harris’ life following the 2008 murder of his 19-year-old son. The motivation for the murder: a gang member didn’t like the way Harris’ son glanced at him while their vehicles were stopped at a traffic light. Harris’ son was not a gang member.

The killing ignited the activist in Harris to turn his misery to a motivational message in hopes to save other young people from experiencing or perpetuating the senseless violence that claimed his son’s life. Harris, a Wichita, Kansas native, is issuing a character challenge to audiences of all ages.

The challenge is masterfully woven within a soul-stirring message of loss, grief, forgiveness and prevailing justice. It’s a message anchored in a vow Harris made to keep the memory of his son – and the lessons from his death – alive.

Harris’ professional journey reflects his commitment to young people and society’s most vulnerable. He holds a degree in Organizational Management and Leadership, and has spent 20 years teaching, counseling and managing various social service programs. Harris currently serves as the Regional Coordinator for Kansas Kids @ GEAR UP, a college preparedness program for children in foster care and those whose families are considered to be low-income. He is also a board member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of South-Central Kansas.


Beyond professional credentials, Harris’ true ability to carry this message comes from burying his son. Through masterful storytelling and a powerful delivery, Harris’ message ultimately aims to help heal young people; to fill the voids within those who are hurting; to prevent inexplicable violence by promoting his character challenge; and to offer a word of caution about the far-reaching implications of gang violence- even upon those who have no gang ties. And while Harris knows there may be some young people who may continue upon a possibly perilous journey, his message candidly reveals the power of choosing another path.

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