We are deeply saddened to share that our friend, brother, and colleague Harris Bostic II passed away on March 6th surrounded by family in his hometown of Atlanta.
Harris was much more than a colleague – he was a vibrant and enthusiastic presence in the Tides hallways; he was integral to our organizational culture, bringing Tides staff together around shared purpose and mutual admiration. He was a natural connector and empathetic leader, a true friend and mentor to many. He showed up every day with humor, thoughtfulness, dedication, passion, curiosity, and a genuine desire to help others.
His death is a loss for the entire Tides community including so many of you, our partners, who counted on Harris’ friendship, insight, and support. Harris joined Tides in July 2016 as a Senior Strategic Advisor. During Harris’ 5-plus years here, he had a powerful impact on everyone he worked with, showing up at 150 percent each day, giving his all, and consistently contributing to the success of Tides and the partners he supported. Understanding the mission and work of Tides deeply, Harris would guide partners by sharing institutional and sector knowledge, making strategic connections, and finding creative solutions.
At the onset of the pandemic, Harris jumped into action to meaningfully support Tides fiscally sponsored projects adversely impacted by COVID and the economic shutdown. As the advisor for the Stronger Together Fund (STF), Harris developed the infrastructure that adopted trust-based philanthropy principals, led fundraising efforts generating $1.5 million in two short months from Tides donor partners, and awarded grants to 44 social ventures when they needed it most. He also had a deep affinity for place-based grantmaking. He designed, developed and executed C-Beyond to support Caribbean-based non-profits, bringing critical networks and resources to an underserved region. C-Beyond now lives on as a Tides Center social venture. Every day, Harris made it his priority to seek ways to accelerate the pace of social change by building capacity and allocating resources through the lens of equity, justice, and inclusion.
For more than 25 years, Harris gained vast knowledge of the social change sector having served as an advisor, board member, consultant, and employee with scores of domestic and global nonprofit organizations. Through his previous work with the Clinton Foundation, American Red Cross, Peace Corps, the Olympic Movement, Abyssinian Development Corporation as well as various nonprofit board affiliations, Harris helped build positive social impact in locales stretching from Atlanta to Zimbabwe.
Harris was proud to let the world know that he was a “Morehouse Man.” He received his BA in business from Morehouse College, MA in public policy from Georgia State University and a certificate in Project Management from the University of California, Berkeley. He was also an avid cook, Scrabble-player and jazz-lover. Harris is survived by his loving husband, Tommy Fortin, a sister, two brothers, two nephews, and his playful dog Ms. Ginger, as well as countless friends from coast to coast and abroad.
Tides is supporting The Bostic-Fortin family in establishing the Harris Bostic II Let’s Go Study Abroad Fund at Morehouse College. The fund focuses on studies in Africa, as that is where Harris served in the Peace Corps, and the Caribbean, to honor Harris’s work on the C-Beyond initiative at Tides. The initial goal of Harris’ friends and family is to raise $50,000 for the scholarship fund. Tides is opening the fund with an initial gift of $25,000, and Tides will match all additional gifts up to $25,000 from Tides staff, Tides’ Board members, and our partners, in a united effort to honor Harris’ wishes and his beautiful legacy. If you are moved to support this fund from your Tides DAF, please be in touch with your Tides advisor.
You can also contribute directly by sending a check to the address below or by donating on the Morehouse College website:
Morehouse College – Office of Advancement
Attention James Shaw
Gloster Hall Rm 305
830 Westview Drive SW
Atlanta, GA 303314
Memo: Harris C. Bostic II Study Abroad Fund
If you choose to contribute directly — and are part of Tides staff, Tides’ Board, or a Tides partner — please notify Peter Martin and Alex Rojas as they track the donations that are eligible for a match from Tides.