#SurgeForMore 2019 Sees a Milestone in the Movement!

The 2019 #SurgeForMore giving campaign recently concluded with the usher of a new decade, and we were blown away by the incredible wave of generous donations and support for our work and community. Thanks to all of the amazing donors, we were able to surpass our original goal of $150,000 to support programming that elevates and unites a coalition of emerging education leaders of color who make an impact on our youth and communities of color.

With an amazing grand total of $166,563, we knocked it out of the park and raised over sixty thousand dollars more than our 2018 #SurgeForMore total!

This milestone could not have happened without the support from YOU, our village and family. In addition, we would like to thank our generous match donors: three anonymous match supporters provided $25,000, $20,000, and $10,000 respectively, and the San Francisco Foundation provided $2,500!

We humbly appreciate all who donated to 2019’s #SurgeForMore giving campaign and thank you for your continuous love and support of this work. We could not have done it without you. If you haven’t had a chance to give, it’s never too late! In fact, you can join the Surge Impact Community, a group of investors who have committed to supporting this movement with a monthly recurring donation.

Once again, thank you for being a part of this movement, and be sure to follow us on social media to stay in touch with the latest Surge news and updates!


surge

/sərj/

Verb

  1. (of a crowd or a natural force) move suddenly and powerfully forward or upward.
  2. authentically and unapologetically strive for transformative impact.

“the movement makers collectively surge for youth and communities of color across the nation”

Welcome the Kansas City 2020 Surge Academy Fellows!

We are proud to announce that 17 leaders of color who currently serve within the Kansas City education landscape have been selected for the 2020 Surge Academy Fellowship

The Surge Institute initially began by serving Chicago-based communities in 2015, with the total number of our National Surge Alumni reaching over 100 education leaders of color this past August. We warmly welcome our new family members to our community, which values intentionality in elevating our strengths and reclaiming our collective narrative as executive leaders of color in education. Throughout this experience, Surge Academy Fellows will explore innovative and far-reaching approaches to transforming urban education for our youth and communities.

The following is a list of the 2020 Kansas City Surge Academy Fellows:

Over the course of the program, Surge Academy Fellows will receive executive skill training, a space for connection and coalition building, and the tools needed to facilitate transformative change within institutions and organizations serving youth in Kansas City. In addition, the cohort will delve into modules of powerful content that explores topics such as finance and change management, all while having an ongoing dialogue about personal growth, trauma and the true state of diversity, equity and inclusion in the United States. 

After completion of the program, graduating Academy Fellows become part of an elite and growing national network of Surge Alumni who are continuously leading equitable change in education across the nation. The inaugural Surge Academy cohort recently graduated in June 2019, and they continue to be transformative change-makers as well as empowered champions on their communities.

“As a Surge Fellow, I hope to increase my leadership capacity to challenge the status quo while connecting with other leaders to contend with issues on the educational landscape that are rooted in socio-historical oppressive narratives and beliefs to help our students to reach the pinnacle of their academic success. Furthermore, I seek to broaden my knowledge base and skills to create powerful change in the system and I am positive that the networks and coaching in the Surge Academy will help me to not only join the movement but help others to catch fire as well,” said Jermaine Wilson, 2020 Kansas City Surge Academy Fellow and Director of Counseling and Support Services/AVID District Director at Kansas City Public Schools.

“More than ever, we need courageous leaders that will push the conversation and actions further to ensure that African-American and Latinx youth are given a rigorous education that will help them to navigate the waters of life successfully,” continued Wilson.

If you would like to learn more about the Surge Institute and support this movement, visit us at www.surgeinstitute.org and follow us on social media @SurgeFellowship! Once again, congratulations to our 17 new family members!

The Surge Academy is made possible with funding from the following partners: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Hall Family Foundation, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and the George K. Baum Family Foundation respectively.

Surge Chicago and Surge Oakland Introduce Local Boards!

We are thrilled and honored to introduce the Chicago and Oakland local boards! These seasoned, dynamic and brilliant leaders will help broaden and deepen the Surge movement in each of these cities as champions of the mission, strategic advisors, and partners in fulfilling growth goals alongside the Surge leadership team and Board of Directors. The boards are as follows.

The histories and spirits of our fellowship cities, Chicago and Oakland, are at the foundation of Surge and the organization’s why in this work. As a milestone for the Surge Institute, we are thankful for these leaders who will be offering their time, talent and treasure in support of the Surge movement. This announcement is an important next step in continuing to unlock the power that lies within the education leaders in these communities.

If you would like to learn more about the Surge Institute and support our movement, visit us at www.surgeinstitute.org and follow us on social media @SurgeFellowship and @SurgeOakland!

Harvard Education Press Publishes the Surge Institute Case Study

(Chicago, IL) 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.

Welcome the 2020 Surge Chicago Cohort!

We are proud to announce that 25 leaders who currently serve within the Chicago education landscape have been selected for the 2020 Surge Chicago Fellowship!

The Surge Institute first began serving Chicago communities in 2015, and the total number of our Surge Chicago Alumni reached nearly 100 education leaders of color this past August. Each of our new family members will be welcomed into a space that aims to ignite their inner strengths and leverage their stories and experiences in order to shift the landscape of education for Black and Brown communities. Throughout this transformational experience, Surge will aim to elevate and invest in the genius already present within these emerging leaders of color. Overall, Surge seeks to be a mirror for each of these change-makers.

The following is a list of the 2020 Chicago Surge Fellows:

Founder and President of the Surge Institute, Carmita Semaan, shares some words to open the space for the 2020 fellowship candidates.

Over the course of the Fellowship program, Surge Fellows will receive executive skill training, a space for connection and community building, and the tools needed to facilitate transformative change within institutions and organizations serving youth and communities of color. The cohort will also develop their own leadership and advocacy skills, with a culminating step of the program being the completion of individual capstone projects, which will focus on advancing the work of a new or existing Chicago education initiative.

2020 Surge Chicago Fellow, Ulric Shannon, engages with Surge alumni members.

After completion of the program, graduating Fellows become part of an elite and growing national network of Surge Alumni who are currently leading equitable change in numerous cities across the United States. The inaugural Surge Fellowship cohort joined the Surge family in 2015, with the initial goal of expanding diversity in the education leadership pipeline at the forefront. Now, this vision has taken a life of its own, beyond the organization’s imagination! “As an educator with a history of organizing, I have always felt a sense of struggle and a desire for transformation at my core,” said Emilia Chico, 2020 Surge Fellow and Principal Consultant for the Chico Consulting Group. “However, after spending far too long in academia, my courageous, radical voice has been stifled, and I am looking for a community to assist me in forging a new path of self-discovery and collective action. More than ever, I know that I am capable of creating the spaces necessary for young people to thrive. I am ready to reclaim my voice and build with powerful individuals who are also ready to imagine the possibilities of educational reform!”

If you would like to learn more about the Surge Institute and join this movement, visit us at www.surgeinstitute.org and follow us on social media @SurgeFellowship! Once again, congratulations to our 25 new family members!

Welcome the 2020 Surge Oakland Cohort!

We are proud to announce that 16 leaders from across the Oakland & Bay Area education landscape have been selected for the 2020 Surge Oakland Fellowship program! This year-long cohort-based program focuses on uniting, accelerating, and empowering leaders of color in education and youth-serving organizations.

The Surge Institute officially began serving Oakland & Bay Area communities in January 2018, with the number of our Bay Area Alumni reaching a total of 22 African American, Latinx, and Asian/Pacific Islander education leaders this past July.

Prospective candidates hear from 2019 Surge Oakland Alumna, Dulce Torres-Petty and Surge Oakland Executive Director, Michelle Seijas, Ed.D.

The following is a list of the 2020 Oakland Surge Fellows:

Over the course of the Fellowship program, Surge Fellows will receive executive skill training, a space for connection and community building, and the tools needed to facilitate transformative change within institutions and organizations serving youth and communities of color.

The cohort will also develop their own leadership and advocacy skills, with the culminating final step of the program being the completion of individual capstone projects, which will focus on advancing the work of a new or existing Oakland education initiative. Afterward, graduating Fellows become part of an elite and growing national network of over 100 Surge Fellowship Alumni who are currently leading change in numerous cities across the United States.

2020 Surge Oakland prospective candidates engage in a education and equity dialogue that mirrors aspects of the Surge Fellowship.

The Surge Fellowship began in Chicago in 2015, with the goal of expanding diversity in the education leadership pipeline. Over the past 4 years, the Surge Movement has expanded its reach beyond our imagination! 2.25 million students across the United States have been impacted by the work of Surge Alumni through education and youth-based organizations, and 97% of Surge Alumni say that their experience with the Surge Institute lead to an expansion of their own personal vision!

“The Surge Fellowship is a place for me to stand bold in my convictions, unpack my own identity within the context of the dominant narrative, and build up my own skills and literacy on how to disrupt, reimagine and rebuild oppressive educational systems. For me, I chose Surge because it’s a space to reignite a sense of hope and healing within this work. It is a committed system of care and support that will have a lasting impact as I continue to serve our students and lead the teachers of Oakland,” stated Roxanne Rose, 2020 Surge Fellow and Assistant Principal at Achieve Academy, Education for Change Public Schools.

The Surge Institute Welcomes 3 New Staff Members to the National Leadership Team!

The Surge Institute would like to extend a warm welcome to three new staff members who will be joining the Surge’s national leadership team! The Development and Program departments are key to building Surge’s national education movement, and the organization is proud to bring onboard three additional brilliant minds to aid in the organization’s education efforts.

George Deveney has accepted the role of Vice President of New Site Development. Previous to his new role with Surge, Deveney spent the last seventeen years at City Year, an education non-profit organization dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. He worked in recruitment before leading the launch of their second international affiliate in London and went on to work in partnership with local stakeholders and champions to launch new City Year programs in nine cities across the United States. In his new role, Deveney will lead the charge of ensuring that Surge’s vision and impact continues to extend across the national education landscape by leading the charge towards setting the groundwork for new locations where there is a need for Surge’s programming. “This is an exciting time to be joining Surge Institute as we continue to empower leaders and elevate voices in the cities we currently serve while being responsive to cities across the country who are seeking to bring our powerful and unique model to their communities,” said Deveney. “The impact that Surge Institute has already had provides a strong foundation to build on, and I look forward to being part of the future.”

Next, Surge welcomes Noemí Cortés as the new Program Director for the Surge Academy. Cortés joined the  Surge team in July of 2018 as a consultant Program Manager for Surge Academy in Kansas City and comes with a breadth of experience as a classroom educator, pre-service teacher professor, and school administrator. Cortés brings a critical consciousness to leadership development and understands the critical tenets of adult learning needed to lead the Surge Academy to the next level. “I’m excited to bring the powerful, healing work of the Surge movement to more folks of Color across the country. I am even more excited to be heading back to Kansas City to continue the work we started just one year ago,” said Cortés.

Lastly, Sam Wong will be joining the Surge team as the new part-time Development Coordinator. Wong joins as a staff member who will support Surge’s donor gift operations, playing a pivotal role in ensuring that the organization reaches its national short and long-term fundraising goals. For the past 4 years, Wong has worked as the Database Manager for San Diego LGBT Community Center, five years as a Human Resources consultant for BMO Harris Bank, and over the last 14 years served as a volunteer for both BMO Financial Employee Resource Groups Chicago, Illinois, and the AIDS Walk in San Diego.

The Surge Institute is blessed to have these leaders joining the team and looks forward to working and collaborating all in the effort of expanding and fulfilling Surge’s mission!

Surge Founder & President on MIB’s List of Chicago Black Women of Impact

Carmita Semaan was recently featured on Make it Better Magazine’s list showcasing 38 of Chicago’s TOP Black Women of Impact for 2019. In honor of Black History Month, each woman was asked to talk about the women who have inspired them the most in their lives. The list features leaders who work in fields such as education, politics, and business.

MIB strives to be a community resource that helps others make their life and the lives of others better — online, in print and in person. MIB accomplishes this by providing high-quality lifestyle content and connecting others to the businesses and nonprofits they support.

Learn more by clicking HERE!

Surge Alumni Make Negocios Now 2018 40 Under 40 List

Two alumni of the Surge Fellowship were recently awarded as recipients for the Negocios Now 2018 Latinos 40 Under 40 List. Paul Morgan (2018 Surge Alumnus) and LeShonne Segura (2015 Surge Alumna) were selected after an over four-month nominations period and record participation with more than 120 nominations.

The list features 40 young Latinx leaders in the Chicago area who work in fields such as education, fashion, and business, just to name a few. Negocios Now is a national award-winning publication and launched the 40 Under 40 list in 2016.

Click here to learn more!

2019 Surge Fellow Awarded Field Leader Award

As the 2019 Surge Fellowship program began, The Field Foundation announced 2019 Surge Fellow, Steven Rosado, as the recipient of their Field Leader Award.

The Field Leader Award is a highly-selective honor given to an individual leader working at a Field Foundation grantee organization. It is designed to promote visionaries across Chicago by building social capital, skillsets, networks, and exposure.

Steven is the Senior Program Director, Citywide Youth Councils at Mikva Challenge and was selected as a Surge fellow in September of this year. With over 10 years of experience in the field, a focus on social justice, youth development, and policy – Steven is a strong candidate to receive the award.

“It is an honor to be selected as the Surge Field Leader by the Field Foundation, and I am looking forward to learning with and from other Field Leaders in addition to my Surge Family, shared Steven Rosado, “As a Field Leader, I hope to leverage this opportunity to continue to be an ally to young people in Chicago who are challenging the inequitable institutions that impact their lives every day.” 

A native Chicago resident and staff member at Mikva Challenge since July 2014, Steven’s experience includes strengthening youth participation in the formation, implementation, and evaluation of public policy in city government around a variety of issue areas such as education, health and wellness, housing, juvenile justice, and youth safety.

Steven at Surge Chicago 2019 Fellowship selection days.

About The Field Foundation

Founded in 1940 by Marshall Field III, the Field Foundation is a private, independent foundation that has been dedicated to the promise of Chicago for over 80 years. The Field Foundation aims its grantmaking toward the goal of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art and Leadership Investment. With racial equity at the center of its giving, it directs dollars to critical organizations working to address systemic issues in Chicago and aims to directly benefit some of our city’s most divested communities