Sandra Jackson-Opoku was awarded a CAF grant for her children’s novel Ellie Mac, Please Come Back!, a story that seeks to sensitize children to the threat of the declining manatee populations in Florida. Sandra’s goal is to inform young people of environmental threats in a way that will help them grow into literate adults who maintain a concern for animals.
Sandra is a member of an African-American group of female writers called For Love of Writing (FLOW), and has published two novels prior to this project: The River Where Blood is Born (Penguin Random House, 1998) and Hot Johnny (and the Women Who Loved Him) (One World, 2001). Her awards and honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship, the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines Fiction Award for Younger Writers, an American Library Association Black Caucus Award for Fiction, a Ragdale Foundation US/Africa Fellowship, a William Randolph Hearst Research Visiting Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society, a Roots Fellowship at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, and Esteemed Literary Artist Award from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Sandra has been an artist in resident in communities throughout the U.S. and around the world. Sandra lives in Chicago, Illinois. You can read more about Sandra’s children’s novel and environmental activism in an interview linked here.