That was the goal. That was the dream. That was the directive. And we did it!
The Surge Alumni Convening was the inaugural annual gathering for Surge Alumni to bring our community together in our efforts toward continued learning, best practices and access to education leaders of color. Five cohorts of Surge Fellowship Alumni united in power, love, determination, and genius, truly representing what this movement is all about: bringing our people together so that we can transform the world for our youth and communities.
We chose the word convening over conference, because his wasn’t a “sit and get” experience where folks expected to be presented to but rather a space for co-creation. We chose to focus on alumni specifically because this is an ongoing experience that could never have ended upon completing the fellowship experience. We chose the word inaugural because this is the first of many.
And what a first it was!
Surge Alums from all over the country led breakout sessions tackling a myriad of needs and spaces, from moving beyond trauma to racial equity to entrepreneurship. This is truly a growing body of thought leaders, ready to unite and transform what education looks like, and that has never been more evident than it was in NOLA!
Attendees heard from Jose Antonio Vargas about his personal journey as an “out” undocumented immigrant as well as the movement he is building with Define American. An esteemed local panel of powerful and brilliant leaders of color shared about the challenges of education in New Orleans and beyond. New Orleans artist Brandan “BMike” Odums took group on his leadership journey as an artist, activist and provocateur at his incredible warehouse turned art installation Studio Be. Chief Executive Officer at the Vocati Group and Surge Faculty member Dr. Nicholas Pearce gave honest answers on what it means to live in one’s purpose.
The inaugural convening was truly a converging of strength and brilliance, the likes of which the Surge movement has never seen, and we are eager to unite our alumni community again as we continue to grow in numbers, impact and connection.
The narrative has not been rewritten yet. But we’re off to a great start.