Harvard Education Press Publishes the Surge Institute Case Study

The Harvard Education Press, a mission-driven publisher that covers critical issues in education such as classroom practice, equity, leadership and school reform, has recently approved and published a case study that chronicles the founding, early scale building, and impact of the Surge Institute.

The Surge Institute is a national nonprofit that develops and elevates leaders of color who create transformative change for children, families, and communities of color. Founded by Carmita Semaan in 2014, the organization was built around the social demand to empower emerging diverse leaders to change the landscape of education by providing them with a unique, authentic leadership development experience.  

The HEP case study, written by Dr. Joiselle Cunningham, Dr. Irvin Scott and Dr. Matt Presser, delves into the current lack of African-American and Latinx representation in the American education sector in contrast with the growing number of African-American and Latinx students enrolled within public schools in the United States. Chronicling Semaan’s early workings of the Surge Institute, the case study also explains how the Surge Institute has grown into a national education movement despite early obstacles such as funding.

With less than five percent of business case studies featuring organizations founded or led by leaders of color, this case study represents not only a milestone for Surge but for leaders of color beyond the education field. The case study is currently being taught in education leadership courses at Harvard University and New York University, and through the Harvard Education Publishing Group platform, the Surge story will also have the potential to continue reaching emerging leaders in universities, businesses, and institutions across the globe. 

Overall, the piece serves as a reminder on the importance that diverse voices have in the education field and beyond. 

In a recent online magazine release, Semaan stated, “If our aspiration is to benefit from the collective genius of everything that people bring, we have to create environments where people don’t have to cover parts of who they are to feel like they are credible and respected.” 

This case study is critical in validating the various struggles faced by entrepreneurs of color in whichever stage of their journey that they are in, and the Surge Institute looks to continue elevating leaders of color and connecting with communities to catalyze equitable change in education for youth. 

Read the official case study HERE.

November 2019 Jacare Thomas

November 2019

2019 Surge Chicago Alum, Jacare Thomas has accepted the role, Chief of Growth and Innovation, for the Umoja Student Development Corporation. In his new role, Jacare will lead the organization in planning and developing its capacity and opportunities for increased social impact. He will also provide leadership to the Umoja strategic planning process as well as lead the process of developing new programmatic strategies and initiatives.

November 2019 Amanda Paz

November 2019

Amanda Paz, 2018 Surge Chicago Alum started a new role as a Senior Associate at the Civic Consulting Alliance.

November 2019 Ashley Leonard

November 2019

2017 Surge Chicago Alum, Ashley Leonard, accepted a new role as the Founding Associate Director of the Middle Grades Network for the To&Through Project at the University of Chicago Urban Education Initiative. Learn more HERE.

November 2019 Zakir Parpia

November 2019

2019 Surge Oakland Alum, Zakir Parpia, recently served as a co-editor for the National AfterSchool Association (NAA)’s magazine “After School Today.” Read it  HERE.