May 7, 2020 – 5:30pm-7:30pm CDT
Men/Male-Identified Persons of Color in Education Virtual Mixer

May 20, 2020 – 5:30pm-7:30pm CDT
Surge Chicago Community Virtual #LeadTheSurge

May 28, 2020 – 5:30pm-7:30pm CDT
Latinx Educators Virtual Mixe


Office hours are available to support applicants through the application process and to answer any questions related to the Fellowship program and Surge Institute

Thursday, June 4, 2020
5:30pm-7:30pm CDT

Thursday, June 11, 2020
5:30pm-7:30pm CDT



April 30, 2020
2021 Surge Chicago Fellowship Applications Open

June 15, 2020
2021 Surge Chicago Fellowship Application Deadline

August 2020
2021 Chicago Cohort Selection Days

September 3, 2020
2021 Chicago Cohort Announcement

Disclaimer: Our intended audience for our virtual gatherings are African-American and Latinx leaders in the Chicago education and youth-serving space.

Surge Chicago 2021 Fellowship Session Dates

Session 1 & Opening Retreat
October 15-17, 2020

Session 2:
November 20, 2020

Session 3:
December 18, 2020

Session 4:
January 15, 2021

Session 5:
February 19, 2021

Session 6:
March 19, 2021

Session 7:
April 23, 2021

Session 8:
May 21, 2021

Session 9:
June 18, 2021

Session 10:
July 16, 2021

Session 11 & Graduation Retreat: 
August 19-21, 2021

During this time, due to COVID-19, all Surge sessions are being held virtually to ensure the safety of our community. Sessions have also been modified to allow fellows more flexibility to manage the new demands on their time and energies. And, while we are very hopeful for the time when we can all be together again physically, we will continue to follow all federal, state, and local government policies, in addition to following the wisdom of the community, regarding social distancing. Our priority is the well-being and safety of our people.

Surge Innovates Through…

IDENTIFICATION. Identifying promising leaders already active within the education sector—instead of focusing on attracting talent from other fields—thus ensuring impressive ROI

TRAINING. Adapting leadership development best practices—full-spectrum support of a carefully selected cohort—to nurture bold leaders committed to building social and racial justice

CHAMPIONING. Providing executive skills training and critical coaching support to high-potential leaders who rarely have access to accelerated learning opportunities

Chicago Surge Fellows are…

CONNECTED. African-American or Latinx emerging leaders working in systems of schools, public policy, education philanthropy and advocacy organizations

ELITE. Proven high-potential trailblazers with track records of professional success

EXPERIENCED. Minimum of six years of relevant working experience and at least a bachelor’s degree.

PASSIONATE. Serving high-need communities, preferably with connections to these communities.


  • Chicago-based African-American or Latinx leader between the ages of 28 to 40
  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • Minimum of six years of work experience
  • Employed in education or youth-serving role (district, charter, public policy, philanthropy or advocacy/non profit) at the initiation of and for the duration of the fellowship
  • Passion for positively impacting the lives of young people and their communities


Sponsoring organizations are expected to pay a tuition of $5,000 per fellow for the year-long program. Limited scholarships are available for accepted candidates with financial needs.


  • Two letters of recommendation; one must be from current organization
  • Résumé
  • Completed memorandum of understanding
  • Interview with three selection committee members
  • Ability to attend all sessions and participate for the duration of the program

Fellows leave the program having developed an understanding of competency in organizational management, relationship management, strategic planning and problem-solving, navigating complex environments, and expertise in the history and structure of public education. Each fellow will have demonstrated an ability to achieve and lead better, learning how to have a tremendous impact on the broad landscape of leadership and education.

If you have specific questions, contact Surge at