The Surge Academy is the newest signature program of the Surge Institute. In service of our mission, the Academy explores an innovative and far-reaching approach to transforming urban education for our youth and communities

As a traveling national program that we bring to small and mid-sized cities all over the country, the Surge Academy spends six months developing, elevating and uniting emerging education leaders of color in a given location so that they, as a coalition, can go on to build movements that influence, innovate and transform the education space with their own communities. With each city we go to, the Academy provides an intensive fellowship experience, packed with powerful content that explores executive skills like finance, strategic planning and change management, while having a deep and unflinching dialogue about personal growth, trauma and the true state of diversity, equity and inclusion in America

2022 Academy Recruitment & Session Dates

Washington D.C. 

Are you or a leader you know interested in learning more about the 2022 Surge Academy cohort in D.C.? Fill out this form to be notified of upcoming virtual events as well as when the application is live.

Recruitment Dates 

Recruitment Launches
September 2021

Recruitment Mixers
September & October 2021

Recruitment/Informational Webinar
October 2021

Application Launch
November 2021

Office Hours/Application Support
November 2021

Applications Close
November 2021

Academy Selection Day Invites Sent
December 2021

Academy Selection Days
December 2021

Session Dates 

Session 1: Opening Retreat
January 2022

 Session 2
February 2022

 Session 3
March 2022

April 2022

Session 4
May 2022

Session 5
June 2022

Session 6: Closing Retreat
July 2022

How it Began

The Academy began as a pilot in Kansas City, bringing together a cohort of 11 African-American and Latinx emerging leaders to explore how to transform education in KC to best serve all youth and communities. That cohort remains united long after the end of their fellowship experience, working together to not only speak truth to power but to bring power to truth.

Hear from 2019 Kansas City Alumni Charles King, Edgar Palacios and Selina Rios talk about the value of the Academy experience.

The Ongoing Journey

The end of the Academy experience is only the beginning of the Surge journey. Upon graduating the Academy, fellows join a national network of Surge Alumni bolstering a sprawling movement of rising education leaders of color, from Oakland to Chicago to Washington D.C. and beyond, united in the purpose of a greater future.

What Our Alums Are Saying

“Surge has helped me to understand more deeply that my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Selina Rios
2019 Academy Alum
Learning & Evaluation Director
City Year Kansas City

“I began this journey believing the Surge experience would provide the keys to navigating oppressive systems as a Black man; what really happened is that we all received both the tools and permission to break the system.”

Eric Wilkinson
2019 Academy Alum
Director of Operations
Kauffman Scholars

“Surge empowered me to be bold in my thinking and my actions. And to continue to be an outspoken champion of the Latinx community.
Simply transformational.”

Edgar Palacios
2019 Academy Alum
Latinx Education Collaborative

Join The Movement

To learn more about the program, please reach out to us at