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January 20, 2021

CGR Promotes Dr. Donna Harris to Associate Principal

CGR is happy to announce the promotion of Dr. Donna Harris to Associate Principal. Dr. Harris joined CGR in 2017 as a Senior Associate. She leads and contributes to a wide variety of projects focusing on education, racial equity, public safety, early child care, workforce development and organizational change. Dr. Harris has successfully designed and completed many studies using mixed methods that draw on administrative data, surveys, individual interviews and focus groups. She has directed several evaluations for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Monroe County Community College and the Ibero American Development Corporation in Rochester – including the evaluation of the state-funded anti-poverty THRIVE program in Buffalo. In addition, Dr. Harris was a pivotal contributor to CGR assessments of the Rochester Civilian Review Board and the criminal justice and law enforcement system in Oswego County.

Dr. Harris also leads organizational change efforts as CGR’s Chief Diversity Officer, working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within CGR and across our portfolios of work.  In 2019, CGR created the Chief Diversity Officer position to support and bring an equity lens to hiring, staff retention, and research efforts. Under Dr. Harris’s leadership, CGR participated in the 2019-2020 cohort of the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative that assisted us in engaging in deep investigation into racism across personal, institutional and structural levels.

Dr. Harris received her Ph.D. in educational policy studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A. in sociology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and B.A. in sociology from Wesleyan University. In the Rochester community, she is an advisory board member of Teen Empowerment and a member of the Rochester Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

CGR Collaborates with the Racial and Structural Equity Commission (RASE)
CGR is working with the Monroe County/Rochester Racial and Structural Equity Commission as it engages in a systemic review of current local laws in the City and the County focusing on governmental structures designed to mitigate structural racism and biases through the introduction and/or adjustment of local laws, policies and practices. For more information, please visit the Commission’s website.
CGR Wraps Up Government Projects in Rockland County, NY
Our local government team recently completed a pair of successful projects downstate:
  • Independent Review of the Rockland County Executive's Budget: On behalf of the Rockland County Legislature, CGR provided an independent review of the County Executive’s 2020 budget proposal. Overall, our team found the proposal was a balanced plan for providing services to residents in uncertain times. We noted limited areas to consider for adjustment – including sales tax revenue, which has been volatile – and expenses for employee benefits. Legislative Fiscal Analyst Nicole Doliner said of our work: "CGR is an extremely professional organization and is very responsive to its clients." Read our report here and check out a Rockland County Business Journal report on our work here.
  • Impacts of Dissolving the Village of South Nyack: CGR led an analysis of the potential impacts of dissolving the Village of South Nyack in Rockland County. Residents had presented the Village with a petition for a referendum on dissolving the Village government under Article 17A of General Municipal Law. CGR developed a report with objective analysis of the likely impacts of dissolution in advance of a Dec. 17 voter referendum. Our team also developed a website where South Nyack residents could learn about the issues, and we led public meetings to answer their questions. Voters later approved dissolution, 508-292. Read our report and learn more about the dissolution here and check out a news report in the Journal News.
With CGR's Help, MetroWest Foundation Highlights Racial Disparities
In the news: Using data compiled and analyzed by CGR, the Foundation for MetroWest issues an online report showing deep racial and ethnic inequities in the region west of Boston.

Learn more:
Racial Equity in MetroWest

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