ABOUT ME

sapna sopori | founder & ceo, sapna strategies

I was born in Arizona as a first generation Indian-American, raised by a single-mother whose own challenges and opportunities in this country shaped my understanding of the intersection between race, gender, and immigrant-status.

I have spent 20 years working in the social sector. As a leader, educator, and activist, I work with organizations to decolonize their programs to ensure that the good work they hope to do in the world is not undermined by how they do it.

In my personal time, I am a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program and have facilitated their Fellows of Color Affinity Group. In 2017, I was also honored with the Kitsap YWCA’s Mission Award for Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women.

I have been so fortunate to have all of these life experiences as a result of the generosity, courage, and support of those around me, and with every action I take, I strive honor my community’s belief in me.

my consultation style

I help organizations live into their beliefs. I help organizations examine the disconnect between their intentions and their actions.

I lead with race. When we lead with race, we stop telling those most impacted by racist systems that their continued harm is acceptable in order to maintain the comfort of those least impacted.

I disrupt. This involves decoding pretty words, examining the assumptions in the room, and getting used to being uncomfortable.

I work on the structures that guide individuals. To use a stream metaphor, just because an individual fish wants to go upstream doesn’t mean it will be successful. I help change the flow of the water to propel the fish and get them to where they want to go faster and more easily.

I work with teams rather than entire organizations. When I work with a team that is already bought into justice and wants to push it forward, we amplify the voices of the change we want to make rather than slow it down to “bring everyone along.”

I build skills and capacity on these teams. I help teams continue to think critically from a racial justice lens even after my contract is done, to keep developing and implementing actions that center the voices of those most impacted, and to work with other teams to build their skills and capacity over time.

I am like a personal trainer, which means teams will do more with me, not less. We don’t hire personal trainers to lighten our loads; instead, they redesign our workouts to be more impactful and help us develop the stamina to reach our stretch goals.

Want to learn more about my style? Reach out to me at sapna@sapnastrategies.com!


meet the team


Sapna Strategies, LLC. Associateship: Getting into DEIJ work professionally is hard, especially for folks with non-dominant identities. I know this first-hand, and I was very fortunate to start my business with existing networks of trusted mentors and colleagues who guided me on my path. This was such a valuable investment in me by my community that I wanted to provide that for others. So, as part of the my commitment to reinvest in communities most impacted by systemic injustice, I provide a paid Associateship to support and nourish the development of burgeoning non-dominant DEI consultants.

Associates commit to 10 hours per month for 12 months so they can observe first-hand the fun and challenges of organizational DEIJ work over time. Associates get to see “behind the scenes” and develop their DEIJ strategic planning skills in a collaborative relationship with me as their mentor. Under my supervision and guidance, Associates are able to safely participate in client meetings and sessions (i.e. Associates do not engage with clients on their own), which provides important protections for all parties.

As with any healthy relationship, this is a two-way street, and I have learned so much from these amazing colleagues who externally process with me, provide critical diverse perspectives on the work, and always keep me on my toes. See below for past and present Associates (information shared with the expressed consent from the Associates).

2023 Associate: Safiya Jetha, she/her/ hers
Safiya’s intersecting identities include being Muslim, East African, South Asian, a first-generation American, and an educator. As a former educator in the public education system and educator of color, she has directly experienced the impact that upholding systems of oppression has on young people and the immediate need for dismantling these systems. She carries with her strong values rooted in service, altruism, willingness to learn, and the perspective that vulnerability can lead to empowerment. Safiya holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University in Atlanta, GA and a Masters in Teaching from the University of Washington.

2022 Associate: Mó Garcia de Mesquita, they/them
I am a white, non-binary, queer, able-bodied, bi-lingual educator from Portugal. I have extensive experience in adult education, including my adjunct faculty position with the University of Washington where I focus on queering environmental education. I am passionate about creating learning space for adults to re-orient themselves toward equity-driven education in the context of gardens.

Like the website? Hanna Hupp is a communications specialist who makes works efficiently and diligently to give her clients a strong internet presence. Contact Hanna to transform your web activity and reach more audiences: hannagarlidhupp@gmail.com

Like the logo? Tim Song Ichien is an educator, justice activist, and artist. He works closely with his clients to develop a logo that visually expresses their personality and business goals. Contact Tim to design your personalized logo: Tim.Ichien@gmail.com”


PROFILES AND AWARDS



“As the point person working with Sapna from my organization, I have been incredibly impressed with her knowledge, facilitation, adaptability, and relatability in the Racial Equity trainings and team building process on which we have embarked. Sapna’s guidance and oversight for our team development and goal setting process has been crucial towards our success. The thorough research and planning time Sapna dedicates to each session makes every minute spent with her valuable. A few impactful, well-facilitated trainings with Sapna has set us on the course towards building out a racial equity statement and starting the process to meet our long term equity goals. I highly recommend Sapna Sopori as a DEI consultant that is able to adapt to each organization’s needs and help them efficiently set and achieve equity goals.”


Nikki Wolf | King Conservation District