A powerful new step
in elevating and empowering
leaders of color
In collaboration with the Kauffman Foundation, the Surge Institute is developing, elevating and empowering education leaders of color via a new pilot program called the Surge Academy.
About Surge Academy
Having grown up in Birmingham, Alabama, Surge Founder and President Carmita Semaan has an acute awareness of the scarcity of leadership development programs for education leaders in mid-size to smaller cities across America.
While our signature program, the Surge Fellowship, has seen remarkable success and impact in Chicago and Oakland, the mission of the movement has always been to transform education for all our underserved youth and communities. This meant exploring an approach that addresses needs and communities that may be different from those of major metropolises.
With the mission in mind and heart, the Academy was born.
How does it work?
The Academy is a year-long cohort-based program designed to support the growth and professional development of African-American and Latinx leaders in education. The pilot program launched in Kansas City with eleven emerging education leaders. These leaders experience quarterly two-day convenings over the course of their fellowship experience, with interactive virtual modules in between.
The curriculum builds executive skills and community, going beyond professional development and encouraging Academy Fellows to look inward to understand how their racial and ethnic identities impact how they lead. Surge Academy Fellows engage in learning content around effective communication, leading for equity in complex systems, systems thinking and ending with content on leading and managing change to maximize the impact and contributions in their current organizations.
The Academy also helps foster a powerful network experience of mutual support and collaboration. We will also carefully match Academy Fellows with coaches of color who will support their executive and ontological development as a critical program component of the Academy.
Surge Academy Fellows
In its pilot year, the Academy is supporting, uniting, and further developing 11 Kansas City-based African-American and Latinx emerging leaders, using a model that differs from the fellowship but will offer the same transformative growth and empowerment.