Vice President, Community Relations
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey
Marilyn Monroe Harris grew up in a predominantly white Connecticut community, where people always compared her with the late white movie actress with the same name. “Of course, I looked nothing like her,” Monroe Harris recalls.
She developed a negative image of herself. As a result, her mother stepped in. “She instilled in me that I was beautiful and could and would do great things; that beauty is not how we look on the outside, but who we are in our soul,” Monroe Harris attests.
Monroe Harris subsequently competed in the Connecticut and national Miss Black Teenage World pageants, winning the state title. She applies the lesson she learned from those experiences to this day as vice president of community relations at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. She explains,
“When all the contestants came together, I would try to figure out who would be the winner. My goal was to be a better contestant than that individual. I implemented this process and was crowned Miss Black Teenage World of Connecticut.” At the nationals, the person she identified was named
the fourth runner-up. “As the third runner-up I achieved my goal. However, the second and first runners-up and
winner were not in my group when I implemented my success strategy. Therefore, I learned to set my goal to be the best and then go for it! You will always succeed no matter who is or isn’t in the room,” she advises.
Monroe Harris obtained a bachelor’s in medical technology from Simmons College, working full time; an M.B.A. from Rutgers University; and a master’s of divinity and doctorate of ministry from New York Theological Seminary. Her big dreams include helping to transform girls into articulate, powerful yet compassionate women, and visit the world’s exquisite beaches.