Jeffrey A. “Free” Harris is a Hampton, Virginia based independent historian and historic preservation consultant who works with preservation organizations, historic sites, non-profit organizations and academic institutions on issues related to diversity and historic site interpretations. Free’s past clients include the National Park Service, Hanbury Preservation Consulting, the Raleigh Historic Development Commission, the Nevada Preservation Foundation and Heritage Ohio, Inc.
Free was the first Director for Diversity at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He also has served as a featured speaker, moderator and/or panelist for a number of national, statewide and local historic preservation organizations and conferences on issues related to diversity within the historic preservation movement. Free was appointed to Virginia’s Board of Historic Resources. He also currently serves as the Board Chair of the Rainbow Heritage Network, a national organization that advocates for the preservation of historic sites related to the history of the LGBTQ community. He contributed the chapter “’Where We Could Be Ourselves’: African American LGBTQ Historic Places and Why They Matter” for the National Park Service’s LGBTQ Heritage Theme Study.
Free also has served on the Board of Trustees for the DC Preservation League, and served as an Advisor to the DC Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects. Currently, Free has been conducting research on the nation’s music related historic places, so as to advocate better for their preservation.