Groundwork Richmond trains local youth in urban forestry via projects that increase quality of life in their community. The organization also monitors air quality in the city via its Air Rangers program.
Calderon joined Groundwork as executive director of Groundwork Richmond in 2012, when the young organization was still developing a vision for the future of its work. Calderon achieved financial and programmatic success in the organization’s first seven years, according to Groundwork USA. Since stepping back in 2018, she has been a member of Groundwork Richmond’s board and is supporting the creation of new workforce development programs.
Now, Calderon will look to continue sharing the successes in Richmond on the national level as Board President for Groundwork USA.
“Since first joining the Groundwork community, Sarah has been a champion for strengthening connections across the network and collaborating for shared success,” said Groundwork USA’s CEO Heather McMann. “I look forward to working with her to strengthen the capacity of the entire network to achieve our shared vision of healthy, just, and resilient communities.”
Calderon said she is “humbled and honored” to take on the new role.
“Heather and I share a vision for the future and a commitment to helping [Groundwork] Trusts throughout the network succeed,” Calderon said. “I’m excited to bring a new perspective to the role that I feel is critical to helping GWUSA capitalize on the momentum of this moment for long-term success.”
Calderon has amassed over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Before joining Groundwork, she worked with several Bay Area nonprofits to build youth leadership and address systemic inequities. While her work crosses several sectors, an unwavering commitment to justice and equity is the common element throughout her career, according to Groundwork USA.
“My work with Groundwork enables me to live my commitment to creating spaces for communities of color to be active participants in changing their environment, by hands-on experiences, by becoming involved decision-makers, and by creating opportunities in the workforce to advance these same initiatives,” Calderon said. “This has been a central part of my vision and work at Groundwork Richmond, and I’m excited to continue this work at the national level.”