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Marcus Pope


Marcus Pope is President of Youthprise in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he works closely with the President and Board of Directors to execute Youthprise’s strategic priorities, and he oversees grantmaking, development, policy advocacy, communications, and special initiatives.


Marcus grew up in Saint Paul’s Frogtown Neighborhood, Marcus benefitted from high-quality child and youth development opportunities at the Hallie Q Brown Center and the Science Museum of Minnesota. These experiences and opportunities – along with the poverty, community violence, and inequity he witnessed throughout his childhood – inspired him as an adolescent to pursue a career in youth development. He began his tenure with Youthprise as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach, joining the organization at its inception and serving on the founding leadership team. In 2017, Marcus was promoted to Vice President of the organization.

Before joining Youthprise, Marcus served for five years as Associate Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) at the University of Minnesota (U of M). He has also served as Director of Youth Programs for the Neighborhood Involvement Program in Minneapolis and Academic Advisor for the Youth Studies Department at the U of M School of Social Work. 


A respected leader in the Twin Cities’ nonprofit community, Marcus has served on several boards and committees. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Minnesota Council on Foundations and the Mardag Foundation, and he was recently elected a Trustee for Wallin Education Partners. Additional civic leadership and involvement include his current service as Trustee for the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, Co-chair of the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood Community Council, and member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the U of M College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). 


In 2020, Marcus received a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award for his leadership and service to the Twin Cities community. He was also selected as part of the 2018 Twin Cities cohort of the coveted Harvard Business School Young American Leaders Program. And in 2013, he was honored as a Rising Alumni of the U of M’s CEHD. Throughout his career, Marcus has authored or co-authored several published works, including journal articles, commissioned reports, and book chapters that address youth engagement and leadership, education, and intimate partner violence. 

Marcus earned an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in Sociology, Youth Studies, and African American studies and a Master’s degree from the U of M in Education – Youth Development Leadership, with an emphasis in Program Evaluation. He also holds a Mini-MBA from the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business.

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