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James Perry


About James

James Perry, J.D.,  is president and CEO of the Winston-Salem Urban League. Perry leads a 20 person team across the North Carolina Triad, advocating for civil rights, employment opportunities, economic opportunities, affordable housing, health and wellness, voting rights, food security and more. As CEO of the Winston-Salem Urban League, Perry authored the the eye opening State of Black Winston-Salem report, raised nearly $1.4 million and strengthened and reorganized the organization’s programs.

Before taking charge of the Winston-Salem Urban League, Perry served for 10 years as the the Chief Executive of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center.  Perry led the Center through hurricane Katrina, the most disastrous hurricane to make landfall in America. Under his leadership, the Center won more than half a billion dollars for victims of discrimination across Louisiana.

Perry founded the Mississippi Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center, testified before Congress eight times, has served on dozens of local, state and national boards and commissions and has managed dozens of numerous political campaigns. He currently serves on the National Fair Housing Alliance Board of Directors. Perry is his wife, Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry’s business partner and consultant.

Perry is a political science graduate of the University of New Orleans and Loyola University School of Law.

James Perry and Melissa Harris-Perry reside in Winston-Salem, NC  where they are raising eight chickens, five rabbits, three ducks, two daughters, one dog and a mother in law.


Select publications.

Melissa Harris-Perry’s Website.

Winston-Salem Urban League Website.


You cannot be afraid to speak up and speak out for what you believe. You have to have courage, raw courage.

Congressman John Lewis