Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

I was thrilled when I heard about the new book, Why Aren’t We Doing This! Collaborating with Minors in Major Ways, written by Denise Webb, age 20, and Wendy Schaetzel Lesko, age 73, (both pictured above) and published by Youth Infusion, a clearinghouse co-founded by...

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Sunday’s show featured three big moments reminding us that music can be a bridge not only across race, culture, and genre, but also age. Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs. Much attention, rightfully, has gone to the duet between Tracy Chapman, who turns 60 next month,...

A New Chapter for the Encore Fellowships Program

A New Chapter for the Encore Fellowships Program

We’re excited to share the news that the Encore Fellowships program has moved to The Fedcap Group, a new home with the capacity, networks and drive to help the groundbreaking program expand dramatically.  Got questions? We’ve got answers. What’s The Fedcap Group? The...

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Sue Pope

Downwinders at Risk
Purpose Prize Fellow 2009

Leading a grassroots organization of citizen watchdogs, Pope is pushing for — and has helped achieve — stricter regulations on cement plant pollution.

In the late 1980s, livestock on Pope’s Dallas-area ranch began experiencing health complications, including neurological problems, birth defects, and sterility. She began researching potential causes and concluded that the illnesses were being caused by emissions from eight local cement plants that burned hazardous waste in outdated kilns. In 1994 at age 54, Pope launched a grassroots environmental organization, Downwinders at Risk, and spearheaded a lengthy legal battle that resulted in the establishment of best available pollution controls technology for future cement plants throughout the nation and created a $2.3 million clean air endowment – The Sue Pope Fund – to pay for other pollution-reduction measures. The fund helped provide energy-efficient upgrades for a Dallas Habitat for Humanity project and brought the first ever public transportation service to Arlington, Texas, among other accomplishments. Recently, Pope and Downwinders persuaded local governments to buy cement from newer, less-polluting kilns. “When you cannot breathe, nothing else matters. Our whole purpose for existence in this world is lost if we do not care how our actions affect others,” Pope says.