Meet the Social Development Commission (SDC)’s Research and Policy Manager Jennifer Harris:

How long have you worked at SDC?
I have worked at SDC for 90 days.

What do you do at SDC?
I am a Research and Policy Manager.

What motivates you? Why do you do this work?
Seeing the quality of life many Milwaukeeans have come to accept as tolerable. All people deserve a healthy and prosperous life; however due to systemic racism, classist attitudes, policy, and societal norms (both historical and current) an array of inequities prohibit the wellbeing of Milwaukeeans along racial and social economic lines. My motivation is to use research as a vehicle to call attention to the issues that plague us, and create plans of action supported by strategic partnership to dismantle all barriers prohibiting the betterment of communities experiencing and impacted by poverty.

Describe a time when you felt like your work at SDC made a difference in someone’s life.
I’m rather new to SDC, the work I am doing is transformative and may take some time to be recognized. I’m fine with that, as the work of our research affiliates and Commissioners will greatly impact generations to come. Sounds weird, but I feel like I am making a stealthy impact on a daily bases. I know my presence makes a difference.

Tell us something people don’t know about you
Beyond my family, my great joy was ensuring traditional and non-traditional students of color strived for self-actualization.  I am proud of my final cohort of students completing medical school, law school, IT certifications, and everything in between!

Lightning Round Questions

This is where it gets really fun as we get to learn more about the things our employees enjoy.

Dream vacation?
I have travelled everywhere I initially wanted to go. Now I have a traveling buddy aka my husband. Egypt might be next.

Most recent book you read?
I re-read “The Color of Law” preparing to meet Richard Rothstein.

Favorite movie?
My favorite movie is Introducing Dorothy Dandridge

Favorite song?
In a Sentimental Mood

Favorite athlete?
Kobe Bryant—Are you a different animal, and the same beast?

Favorite local restaurant?
I don’t know, there are so many great ones.

Favorite hobby?
Strategic Planning—it’s fun to me.

Bonus Answer!
My biggest desire is to learn about my family lineage beyond my great great great grandmother.

Learn more about the 2022 Community Needs Assessment!

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