· Member Highlight ·

Seandra Pope
Trustee, Sapelo Foundation

Seandra Pope is the newest member of the Sapelo Foundation’s Board of Trustees, but her election to the board is only the latest step in a long, fruitful relationship with the Brunswick, Georgia, family foundation. 

“The Sapelo Foundation invitation was extremely meaningful because of its support of several organizations and initiatives that I have both led and participated in,” Seandra said. “Midge Sweet, who I had the privilege of working with at the Georgia Chapter Sierra Club nominated me as a community trustee for the Sapelo Foundation board. As a result, Bettieanne Hart, a fellow alumna of Spelman College, approached me about this great opportunity to join the board. Sapelo’s investment in some of my early diversity work made me enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve on the board and support its overall mission to empower vulnerable populations and marginalized communities.” 

“It was clear that the current trustees valued my expertise developing well thought out and responsive strategies for building alliances and strategic partnerships,” Seandra explained. “I knew that I would be more than a passive participant and my perspective would be a mutually rewarding experience. I’m really grateful to be part of something where I can make a genuine impact while also complimenting my work as the CEO of Rooted Consulting Group. This opportunity to join the Sapelo Foundation board as a community trustee is truly a full circle moment for me.” 

Seandra has a long history of working at the intersection of social justice and environmental advocacy – a history that’s a perfect fit with the Sapelo Foundation’s mission based around social change, vulnerable populations and the environment in Georgia. Much of her work has involved building relationships between people of color and the environmental movement. 

“The landscape in the energy and climate movement looked very different when I started my career 15 years ago. The environmental movement was predominantly a white male led movement because of the disconnect between environmental advocacy and social justice. Stronger attention was focused on increasing diverse inclusion and participation after the defeat of the climate bill. As a pioneer in the field, I am honored to have authored commentary on topics which highlight the need for more diverse inclusion and participation from those who haven’t been traditionally involved in climate change,” she said. “The Sapelo Foundation is important to me because of their commitment to empowering people and organizations who have historically been marginalized and who have traditionally not had a voice in the climate movement.” 

That situation has improved, Seandra said, thanks to the work of organizations like the Sapelo Foundation. 

“The Sapelo Foundation is important to me because of their commitment to empowering people and organizations who have historically been marginalized and who have traditionally not had a voice in the climate movement,” Seandra said. “Sapelo Foundation is committed to supporting projects that involve multiple groups that work cooperatively toward common goals, inspiring a culture of collaboration, equity, and inclusion in the climate and energy movement.” 

Seandra’s own work, as president and CEO of Rooted Consulting Group, pairs well with her role as a Sapelo Foundation trustee.

“I launched Rooted Consulting three years ago, in response to a gap I observed in the energy, climate, and environmental sector,” she said. “I noticed that organizations were genuinely challenged by how they were connecting with, reaching and engaging their target audiences. Rooted Consulting provides me with a platform where I use my expertise to assist organizations in the energy and climate advocacy sector to create well thought out and responsive strategies for achieving meaningful, authentic engagement.” 

Her mantra as stated on her website is, “Where there is no playbook, I will write one. Where there is no relationship, I will cultivate one. Where there are no resources, I will find them. And where there is no vision, I will create one.” 

As a community trustee with the foundation, Seandra says she’s now in a position to further both her own work and that of the foundation.

“I am very proud to be a trustee and have great respect for this appointment. I have many goals for both myself and the foundation. One of my goals is to incorporate my knowhow on building synergy and collaboration between diverse groups in the energy and climate sector which will serve as the foundation to implement additional short term and long-term goals,” she said. “I want to be known as the thought leader for building bridges across issues, sectors, demographics, and communities as a pathway to meaningful and authentic engagement with diverse stakeholders.” 

Previously, Seandra worked with the Service Employees International Union as lead organizer and program manager, the Sierra Club as program manager and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy as director of diversity and community partnerships. She lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her loving husband, two daughters and their dog.