Euneika Rogers-Sipp

Founder, Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families (SURREF)

Stone Mountain, GA

Prioritize Equity, Regenerate Soil & Nature  |  Community Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, Food and Agriculture, Rural Community Development, Technical Assistance

Euneika collaborates internationally in the design and planning of local living agricultural economies.

Euneika is the founder of several organizations and initiatives in the fields of art, conservation, culture, and design education. A 2016 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, she collaborates internationally in the design and planning of local living agricultural economies.

Prior to her fellowship at Harvard, she founded Sustainable Rural Regenerative Enterprises for Families (SURREF) in Stone Mountain, Georgia. SURREF is a social enterprise development initiative that enables families in rural communities across the Black Belt to start businesses providing other local families products that are made to be low cost, affordable, and from locally sourced materials. She created CRE (Community Regeneration Education) which has trained local leaders from 7 states to bring new perspectives into community building spaces benefiting more than 10,000 students and adult learners in different contexts.

In 2010, Euneika received the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service’s research award for SURREF’s design of solar powered irrigation systems – the first minority- and woman-led on-farm energy efficiency project in the state of Alabama.

In 2013 she helped launch a Community Based Tourism Network, a project of SURREF that helped to propel the organization into one of the Black Belt region’s most visible examples of people-centered low-impact eco-tourism.

Euneika is committed to conservation, equity, and sustainability issues and serves on several boards and advisory committees, including the Rural Development Leadership Network (RDLN), Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group (SSAWG), and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC).

Euneika was our Featured Fellow in September 2015. Read about:

IMPACTS

    • SURREF initiated a community-scale renewable energy “Family Water Access” project with the Alabama USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to address climate change and small rural family farmsteads’ lack of access to water. SURREF secured over $100,000 in grants and matching grants in the first phase of project implementation.
    • Developed a specialized curriculum and train-the-trainers program – CRE, Community Regeneration Education™ – that combines land and legacy management and social entrepreneurship into green jobs and workforce training for youth to “earn, own, and stay” in their communities.
    • SURREF is a co-convener of the “Black Belt Community Based Tourism” network, which connects over 160 family-community leaders and suppliers in seven states, resulting in cross-region community wealth building efforts that empower unique rural communities to own and manage their natural and cultural tourism assets.
    • Created Dig Your Routes™, a volunteer tour program that anchors educational and personal development in opportunities that maintain, restore, and safeguard historic homes, cemeteries and communitarian practices.
    • Featured in Real Small Towns about her work in the Black Belt
    • Launched the SURREF Seed Fund, a re-investment fund with Black Belt Community Foundation for rural community infrastructure development.