Using Your Imagination. Tawanna Harris – Faces of Opportunity

Dreams are a way to uplift yourself beyond your circumstances. Learn how Twanna Harris’ dreams allowed her to turn her ideas into reality. 

Twanna Harris is an Atlanta transplant originally from a rural Florida town that she describes as “very poor with a strong African American community”. Twanna was born the only child to a single

teenage mother. She was also the only girl in her immediate family which caused her to often seek joy within her own company. She often lived in an imaginative space as a child, often using her dreams to uplift her beyond her circumstances. Growing up she felt as if she did not assimilate well with her family and friends because they were set in their ways as opposed to being open to change.

It wasn’t until Twanna’s mother remarried that she would meet a person that intrigued her imagination as well as her reality. Her stepfather was the of the most successful entrepreneurs in town and was the first to introduce the concept of entrepreneurship to her. She watched him closely and admired the ability he had to make his ideas come to life.

Her life’s work is a testament that she was blessed with the same skill-set.

At an early age, Twanna realized that it was her passion to invoke change so naturally she developed a profound interest in philanthropy. She went on to attend Florida State University and worked in juvenile justice as a post-college career. But, after becoming frustrated with the barriers that policy posed to getting the real problems solved, Twanna elected to take different path. She decided to come to Atlanta for graduate school, where she obtained a Master of Business Administration degree at Clark Atlanta University. Fascinated with the culture and upward mobility potential that Atlanta has to offer, Twanna decided to stay for good. She made an easy transition to multicultural marketing and for more than 18 years lead successful marketing initiatives for Coca Cola, United Way, Procter & Gamble, and various others.

These years of success only magnified her potential impact if given the right opportunity. It wouldn’t be long until it would translate into a role with the Atlanta Beltline serving in a newly created position working towards an all-new initiative. Twanna joined the Atlanta Beltline as vice president of content and strategic initiatives in 2018. Her upbringing and experiences make her uniquely qualified for the position. She aims to use her role to shed light on a different type of genius that comes from the perspective of those who are impoverished.

Economic inclusion is addressing the distribution of economic growth by ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table of prosperity as a collective. This starts by shifting the narrative and the Faces of Opportunity program is about shifting that narrative.

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