Surge Institute Quarterly Newsletter
Summer 2019

Man, it’s hot. And no, I’m not talking about the weather. I tell you the truth when I say Surge is on fire.

The Surge Academy’s first cohort in Kansas City recently graduated, adding 11 more brilliant leaders of color to our growing network of Surge Alumni. By the end of the summer, our Oakland and Chicago fellows will join that same club, pushing our grand total of alums into the triple digits.


In such inspiring times, I can’t help but reflect on the beginning. Surge’s first cohort graduated in 2015, and their journey has never ended. That bold group of emerging leaders had faith in my vision and has since carried the torch for this movement. And that torch remains ablaze, hotter than ever. I am humbled when I see 2015 Alums like Melissa Connelly, who recently made headlines as the new CEO of OneGoal , Candace Moore, who has been appointed Chief Equity Officer for the City of Chicago , and A.J. DeLeon who has transformed his entrepreneurial vision into a powerhouse reality at Innovare .

On fire.

I am proud of all we’ve accomplished together—truly I am—but I am even more thrilled to look ahead as we continue to Surge ahead. We are in the midst of reviewing applications for the 2020 Surge Oakland Fellowship cohort, and if you’re looking to join the 2020 Surge Chicago Fellowship cohort, applications will be closing this coming Monday, July 1st!

Want to be part of this movement? Now is the time. Stoke the flames, and rise with the heat.

In community,
Carmita Semaan, Founder and President
News & Announcements
Surge Academy Graduation
Please welcome the newest members to the Surge Alumni community, the inaugural Surge Academy graduates!
Oakland and Chicago 2020 Recruitment
Over the past few weeks, we have been in the midst of recruiting for the 2020 Fellowship cohort for both Chicago and Oakland. These spaces also allowed us to continue building community with the education leaders of each site.
Chicago and Oakland each recently had their respective #LeadTheSurge receptions where education leaders gathered in community to support this work and this movement. Our family keeps growing every year, showing that there is a need for this space for leaders of color!
Surge Stories
Voices of the Movement
We have created a new blog page where we will be sharing thought leadership pieces written by and for the Surge community. There's already some powerful content live on the platform that hits on subjects from education to race and communities of color, so be sure to check it out!
Why I Became a Surge Fellow?
Our Fellows are at the heart of the Surge movement as they continue to create change with and for their communities. Each Fellow's story is unique, so we asked Fellows of the 2019 cohorts from Chicago and Oakland the question, "Why did you become a Surge Fellow?" Learn about their collective journeys as emerging leaders of color in the field of education.

Fellow & Alumni Recognition
Surge Fellows and Alumni are achieving goals, serving their communities and impacting the future of education. 

Teachers Who Pray, an organization founded by 2016 Surge Alumna, Marilyn Rhames , recently had its 6th Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. In addition, Marilyn also released her new book, The Master Teacher: 12 Spiritual Lessons That Can Transform Schools and Revolutionize Public Education.

2019 Surge Fellow, Nick Freeman and 2015 Surge Alumna, LeShonne Segura ,   were named Agents of Change by  Education Pioneers . Agents of Change work on behalf of underserved students and demonstrate results toward achieving educational equity and opportunities in many ways, including innovation, entrepreneurship, and community advocacy and empowerment.

2016 Surge Alumnus,  Christopher Goins has just accepted the position of Chief Equity Officer for Thrive Chicago, in partnership with the  Obama Foundation , to lead  My Brother's Keeper Alliance  for the city of Chicago!
We are the preeminent pipeline addressing the dearth of leadership of color at the decision-making tables within education reform. Surge educates, empowers and energizes educational leaders of color who will create transformative change in the communities they serve.