February 2021 Jahna Riley

Jahna Riley (KC’20) was recently interviewed for Startland News regarding her Freedom Dreams Project, Aya Coffee + Books, and its immediate impact thus far.

Started as an online bookstore, Aya Coffee + Books in February evolved into a Black History Month Pop-Up shop series. And by the end of 2021, Jahna hopes to secure a brick-and-mortar storefront on Kansas City’s east side.

February 2021 Ángel L. Vélez

Ángel L. Vélez (CHI’21), doctoral candidate in EPOL and OCCRL research associate, was recently featured in an NBC News story on Racism Within Racial Diversity. Vélez explains the danger of making assumptions about Latinos and more. Read the full story here.

February 2021 Nina Sanchez

Nina Sanchez (CHI’17) was selected as part of Chicago magazine’s 30 “New Power 30,” highlighting her transformational, equity-centered work as Director of Enrich Chicago.

February 2021 Will Collins

Will Collins, VP of Development & External Affairs and 2017 Surge Chicago Alum, was recently announced as an inaugural member of the 2021 Black Bench Chicago Fellowship.

The Black Bench brings individuals together to build community, foster creativity, develop leadership skills, and encourage more progress. During the program period, participants are challenged to think critically about leadership theories, traditions, and models to create, communicate, and carry out solutions to social justice and other challenges in Chicago’s Black Community.

After a 14-day application period and competitive evaluation process, the inaugural members of the cohort include local activists, business leaders, radio personalities, law partners, and more.