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Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all North Carolina flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff Thursday. The flags should stay at half-staff until sunset Saturday in honor of North Carolina civil rights activist Andrea Harris, who was a trailblazer for historically underutilized businesses. Harris passed away Wednesday.

A graduate of Bennett College, Harris became one of the youngest community agency directors in the nation, helping fight poverty across three rural North Carolina communities, according to a release from the governor's office. She had an unwavering passion to help others in need and co-founded the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development in 1986. Located in the heart of Durham, the institute supports minority and women-owned businesses.

In 2017, Harris was appointed by Cooper to serve on the state's Advisory Council for Historically Underutilized Businesses.

 “Andrea Harris was a trailblazer who never stopped fighting for social and racial equity in our state. When doors were intentionally shut, she broke through for women and minority-owned businesses to succeed, modeled excellence in advocacy and mentored scores of freedom fighters. She left an indelible impact on North Carolina’s business and African American communities, and she will be missed. Kristin and I send our prayers and deepest condolences to her friends and loved ones," Cooper stated in a release.

As a show of respect, individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the duration of the time indicated.

  

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