Surge Institute Quarterly Newsletter
Fall 2019

Cool breezes and changing leaves are beautiful and all, but what truly marks the Autumn season for us? A bright new school year and a brand new class of Surge Fellows across the nation! 

With the changing of the season comes a class of 41 emerging leaders of color, beaming with genius and burning with the passion to transform education to be it’s best for our little ones. This new class of 2020 Surge Fellows in Oakland and Chicago bring with them a powerful combination of hard skills, warm hearts and big brains, and our leadership team is eager to see that all of that brilliance is in the same space at the same time.

But it doesn’t end there. Remember this time last year when we announced our pilot program, the Surge Academy? Well it’s no longer a pilot, and this national program is returning, recruiting a new cohort in Kansas City as we speak and mapping out programming cycles in two more cities! 

Finally, y’all know me. I can’t get through anything without bringing up our incredible alumni community. This amazing group of 128 leaders across the nation is changing the game, and this year we surveyed our alumni community to determine how much of an impact the Surge experience has had on their journey. A ton of incredible data and transformative stories came out of that survey, which you can see on our Alumni Impact page, but one of my favorite learnings was that 91% of Surge Alumni say they “found a trusted person who they can safely and honestly express their doubts, concerns, and fears about the challenges they face doing this work.

This is what community looks like. 

Please enjoy this collection of stories, and please know that in the early weeks of this 2019-2020 school year, the incredible change agents of this movement are working to transform the world for the more than 2.25 million students they serve. 

Happy autumn!

In community,
Carmita Semaan
Founder and President
Surge Institute
News & Announcements
Surge Academy 2020 Recruitment Kickoff
The Surge movement never stops! We have officially begun recruiting for our next cohort of emerging leaders of color for the 2020 Surge Academy in Kansas City.
Welcome the 2020 Surge Fellowship cohorts!
We are excited to welcome the next group of transformative leaders, the 2020 Surge Fellowship cohorts in Chicago and Oakland! Learn about these emerging leaders below.

The inaugural cohort for the Surge Fellowship featured 12 dynamic leaders of color in the Chicago education space and graduated back in 2015. What was originally a vision of creating a community for elevated educators to discover their own genius in their work has since then taken on a life of its own, expanding beyond what anyone could have possibly imagined.
Additions to the National Leadership Team
The Surge Institute is blessed to welcome three new leaders to the team and looks forward to collaborating all in the effort of expanding this movement and continuing to impact our communities.
Counting our Change
We recently completed our annual 2019 Surge Alumni survey, which measured how the Surge experience has impacted their personal and professional leadership. Read more about the findings below.
Surge Stories
Shades of Leadership
Check out the trailer to Surge's first short documentary where we hear from a wide range of voices all speaking their truths about what we lose when we don't have brilliant people of color at the decision-making table in urban education!
2019 Graduation in Oakland & Chicago
We are beyond moved and thankful for the community of family, friends, and supporters that showed up in celebration of the 2019 Oakland & Chicago Surge Fellows' graduation! This final chapter of the fellowship journey served as a signal for another transformational beginning: the intentional, purposeful and daily work to continue leading authentically and in their full power as Surge Alumni.

Our youth are in good hands through their leadership, their experiences, their genius and their collective impact. We look forward to continuing to build community and work towards an equitable future with the Radical Collective and the Emergents!
#LeadTheSurge in Oakland & Chicago
Check out the recaps from our #LeadTheSurge receptions in Oakland and Chicago respectively. The days were full of empowerment, community, and love, and it was amazing to see so many folks passionate about creating equitable change in education for our youth. We are extremely happy to see this event increase in size each and every year, showing that there is a continuous need for this work and space for leaders of color.
Fellow & Alumni Recognition
Surge Fellows and Alumni are achieving goals, serving their communities and impacting the future of education. 

2019 Surge Alumna, Nina Smith , was selected to join the Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellows Program 2019-2020 cohort. Now in its fourth year, the program bridges the early childhood knowledge of leaders in the field with tools for assessing public policy levers and hands-on application that leads to action. Learn more HERE .
2019 Surge Academy Alumnus, Charles King , currently serves as President and Executive Director for the Kansas City Teacher Residency, an organization that has just been selected as a new partner for 100Kin10. This final round of growth specifically focuses on 100Kin10’s latest project: tackling the root causes of the STEM teacher shortage. If solved, these ‘catalysts’ – which include bonuses, scholarships or loan forgiveness for STEM teachers, increasing professional development and state tracking of STEM teacher supply and demand – would more sustainably end the teacher shortage. Learn more HERE .
2018 Surge Oakland Alumnus, Charles Cole, III, Ed.D. , recently released his book, Beyond Grit and Resilience: How Black Men Impacted by the Crack Epidemic Succeeded Against the Odds and Obtained Doctoral Degrees . This comparative case study utilized oral histories to illuminate the life stories of three Black men who navigated their way through trauma. The goal of the study was to better understand how they navigated education and life experiences to eventually earn doctoral degrees.
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.