Dr. Penny Jennings New Comm. of Human Rights

Rockland County Executive Ed Day has named Dr. Penny Jennings as his choice for Commissioner of Human Rights to replace Ram Nagubandi, who went on paid leave abruptly in mid-April. Nagubandi held the position for 16 years and was responsible for creating a film festival, a leadership conference for women, and a civil rights hall of fame. Myrnia Bass-Hargrove, the county’s director of community relations, had stepped in as acting commissioner until Nagubandi’s departure could be resolved. Dr. Jennings, a resident of Pomona, attended RCC and then went on to earn a master’s and doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University. She has focused her career on bringing people together. In a statement Day said, “Dr. Jennings is a highly educated, intelligent woman who has already demonstrated her commitment to making Rockland a better place”. Jennings founded A.C.T., Inc. – Adults Caring for Teens, a not-for-profit based in Nyack that provides trained adult mentors for at-risk youth. She served as area director for WESTCop, the Rockland Community Action Partnership that put her in the lead of coordinating anti-poverty strategies in Spring Valley and Haverstraw. In addition, she has been honored by the NAACP, The Rockland District Attorney, the New York state Assembly, and the Westchester Board of Legislators. Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Obama have also recognized and honored Jennings contributions. Day stated, “Penny knows how to bring people together – how to engage different parts of the community, how to unite the community behind a common goal,” he added, “These are the skills that she will use as Rockland Commissioner of Human Rights.”

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