The Rockdale Foundation is a private, family foundation established by Bob Pattillo and Katy Barksdale in 1994. The Pattillo and Barksdale families have deep roots in the community and commerce of Rockdale County (Georgia) and it was in recognition of this heritage that the Foundation was named.
From 2000 to 2009 the Foundation focused on community development, education, and social enterprise. Support was directed to local Atlanta community development projects such as the South Atlanta community, educational initiatives in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools, and microfinance in the Middle East and North Africa region.
In 2010, the Foundation began incorporating more international work with a strategic focus on education, leadership and children and youth.
After conducting site visits to several Sub Saharan African countries, Sierra Leone was chosen as a geographic focus. A country which had survived a brutal civil war and was poised for development, the Foundation began grantmaking in Sierra Leone in 2011. The Foundation does make grants elsewhere in Sub Saharan Africa in order to gain knowledge for the work in Sierra Leone.