Surge Academy and The Mind Trust announce Indianapolis launch of an executive program for leaders of color in education

 

 

 

 

Two virtual gatherings for interested applicants will be offered in April, hosted by Surge Institute Founder and President Carmita Semaan

(Indianapolis, IN – April 1, 2020) The Surge Academy, a program that spends six months developing, elevating and uniting emerging education leaders of color, will be expanding to the city of Indianapolis, IN.

Designed by the Surge Institute, the Surge Academy provides an intensive fellowship experience, packed with powerful content that explores executive skills such as finance, strategic planning and change management. The experience also includes a deep and unflinching dialogue about personal growth, trauma and the true state of diversity, equity and inclusion in America. Beginning in 2019, the program brought together a cohort of 11 African-American and Latinx emerging leaders to explore how to transform education in Kansas City to best serve all youth and communities. In addition, the program is currently working with the second Kansas City cohort composed of 17 education leaders of color.

Jennifer Collier, a 2019 Surge Academy Alumna and Chief Human Resources Officer at Kansas City Public Schools explains what the Surge journey has meant for her: “My Surge experience has reignited my passion and will to be a champion for equity, justice and liberation for myself, my community and other disenfranchised groups.”

The expansion of the Surge Academy to Indianapolis is made possible with the partnership of The Mind Trust, an education focused non-profit organization whose mission is to provide every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, with access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 29 schools in Indianapolis that currently serve 10,018 students and will collectively serve over 13,500 at scale. Through the Innovation School Fellowship, The Mind Trust provides expert support and planning time to talented school leaders. Eighty percent of current School Fellows identify as leaders of color.

The Mind Trust is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of its work to ensure present and future educational success for all students in Indianapolis. Supporting the launch of Surge Academy in Indianapolis is part of the organization’s commitment to empowering and elevating leaders of color.

“Indianapolis education leaders of color want and deserve access to excellent executive leadership development and a strong, authentic community where they can find support from others who share their same lived experience. Surge Academy offers a space for leaders of color to fully acknowledge their cultural identity, build each other up professionally, and join a national network of change-makers,” said Patrick Jones, Senior Director of School Incubation at The Mind Trust.

Upon graduating from the Surge 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.

Carmita Semaan, Founder and President of the Surge Institute, says this expansion is the next step in further serving youth and communities of color who deserve authentic and dynamic education leaders.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have been invited to expand our rich and impactful work to Indianapolis. The interest and love we’ve received thus far have been tremendously affirming. It also validates what we’ve come to learn – our people are SO hungry for investment in and elevation of their collective genius to change the game for young people who deserve every opportunity to shine and thrive,” said Semaan.

The Surge Institute will also host two Virtual #SurgeCircle Chats with Carmita Semaan on April 14 and April 24. These e-gatherings are an opportunity to be in community and learn more about the Surge Academy as well as the recruitment process. You can register by clicking the corresponding dates above. Applications for the Surge Academy will open on April 17.

Visit the Surge Academy website to learn more about the program and to apply. Sign up for the Surge Institute email list to stay informed about upcoming events and developments. You can follow the Surge Institute and The Mind Trust on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About The Surge Institute

The Surge Institute is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established with a simple but important mission to develop and elevate leaders of color who create transformative change for children, families, and communities. Founded by Carmita Semaan in 2014, the organization was designed to empower emerging diverse leaders to change the landscape of education by providing them with a unique, authentic leadership development experience. To learn more about The Surge Institute, please visit: www.surgeinstitute.org

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit organization that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 29 schools and helped place more than 1,500 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at themindtrust.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Recruitment for the 2021 Surge Oakland Fellowship begins

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

As the Surge movement enters its fifth year and we continue to elevate and connect with our 2020 Surge Oakland Fellows, we are excited to announce the beginning of recruitment for our 2021 Surge Oakland Fellowship cohort! 

In the current education climate, there still exists a need for equitable shifts in order to mold a better future for our communities of color. The Surge Institute addresses this need by uniting, elevating, and empowering leaders of color in the education and youth-serving space through the transformational experience that is the Surge Fellowship. It is an experience that brings together emerging African-American, Latinx, and AAPI leaders so that they can realize systemic change that leads to equitable educational outcomes for today’s young people.

Surge Alumni also continue to take on positions of greater leadership and have a multigenerational impact across the education landscape, and they each passionately share how their Surge Fellowship experience has helped them tap into their full potential. Our 2020 Oakland Fellow Gabriel Sanchez said it well:

“I see the Surge Fellowship as a mechanism for change that has no definite limits in terms of its sphere of influence, but as a manifestation of the legacies of our ancestors – a movement that combines force and cariño (care) to not only develop the academic but cultivate the human from within. I envision the Surge Fellowship as a sanctuary for people of color to reclaim their identity, heal, indigenize schools, challenge white supremacy, decolonize systems, and empower disenfranchised communities.” 

The Surge Fellowship is unlike any other leadership program experience. We focus on the head, heart, and soul of our leaders and emphasize the importance of collective impact, all while dreaming big for racial justice and equity for youth, families, and communities of color.

We encourage all educational leaders in the Bay Area who are interested in joining this movement to attend any of our recruitment events listed below.

This movement is real, it is transformative, and now is the time to join.


APPLICATIONS WILL OPEN MAY 7TH AND ARE DUE JUNE 19TH

Check back HERE to see updates and logistics for all Oakland recruitment events

IMPORTANT DATES

“Healing & Power in the Matrix” Leaders of Color in Education

Thursday, March 26th

We invite you to join the Surge Community for an evening dedicated to the practice of self-care. We will engage in fellowship, guided meditation, personal reflection and candid conversations for healing and recovering our power as leaders of color in education.

RSVP HERE

Latinx Leaders in Education Mixer

Tuesday, April 14th

Come connect with Bay Area Latinx leaders in education and learn more about the Surge Fellowship and our growing movement in education.

“Is the Surge Fellowship right for you?” Live Informational Webinar

Monday, May 4th

Interested in becoming a Surge Fellow? Register for a live webinar to learn more about the application process for our 2021 Surge Oakland Fellowship.

Surge Community Happy Hour

Monday, May 11th

Save the date for an opportunity to be learn more about the Surge Fellowship from the perspective of Surge Oakland Alumni as well as current Fellows.

Introducing the Surge Academy | Indianapolis

It has been a blessing to watch the Surge movement grow and evolve since our humble beginning back in 2015, and we are honored to continue to serve and collaborate with the communities and leaders of Chicago, Oakland, and Kansas City. Of course, as a National movement, we are committed to continued growth and impact in our mission to elevate and empower leaders of color across the country. 

In a sentiment left to us by the brilliant Maya Angelou, like air, our people and this movement will continue to rise

Without further ado, Surge is excited to officially announce the Surge Institute is expanding the Surge Academy to Indianapolis, Indiana! The Surge Academy develops, elevates, and unites emerging leaders of color as they further transform the education landscape in their communities. Since its beginning in 2019, the Surge Academy has worked with 28 African-American and Latinx leaders within Kansas City, and we are excited to continue the growth of this work into Indianapolis in partnership with The Mind Trust, an education-focused nonprofit organization. You can visit our Surge Academy webpage to learn more.

In addition, if you know of a leader who you think would benefit from learning more or applying to the Surge Academy in Indianapolis, please refer that leader through this form.

For updates and new developments on the Surge Academy, follow our newly launched Twitter and Instagram profiles, as well as the Surge Institute on Facebook and LinkedIn. It truly is an exciting time to be a part of this growing movement. Thank you for your continued love and support!

The Surge Institute welcomes new Vice President of National Programs

(Chicago, IL) – The national movement to elevate transformative leaders in education just entered a new chapter as education innovator Rodney Thomas begins a new journey leading program strategy as Vice President of National Programs at the Surge Institute. The role is critical in continuing to ensure sustainability for the Surge Institute’s current Surge Fellowship and Surge Academy sites as well as laying the programmatic groundwork for future expansion. The organization is thrilled to be adding to the phenomenal energy and heart of the Surge team to continue to drive impact and elevate leaders of color who are dedicated to serving the nation’s youth.

Rodney joins the Surge Institute with vast experience in the education, private and nonprofit sectors, most recently serving as a Senior Associate at the National Equity Project where he was responsible for designing and providing unique leadership and organizational development solutions that focused on technical, relational, social, and cultural aspects of complex change efforts focused on educational equity.

He began his career as an 8th grade teacher in Chicago Public Schools where he was honored as Teacher of the Year. After spending several years in the classroom, Rodney transitioned into the private sector and worked for companies such as Accenture, Motorola, and Unilever, with a focus on organizational development and design, executive coaching, change management and leadership development. Rodney later returned to Chicago Public Schools and was responsible for several large-scale projects from the implementation of Freshman On Track to the co-creation of The Chicago Leadership Collaborative, a principal training and support program.

Rodney Thomas engaging Surge Fellows of the 2020 Chicago cohort.

“I’m most excited about having the opportunity to work with the amazing leaders who make up the Surge Institute,” said Thomas. In his new role, Rodney will set and execute the vision and direction for the content of the Surge Fellowship and Academy programs across all regions; he will design Surge core curriculum and work with regional program staff to ensure high-fidelity implementation. The role will also have a strong focus on introducing new, innovative program opportunities beyond the Surge Fellowship and Surge Academy, driving the Surge Institute into the future of what’s next within the fields of executive leadership and diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Thomas continued, “In my career, I have never had the experience of working in an organization that’s comprised of all leaders of color, that’s pretty powerful! As VP of National Programs, I’m also excited to play a part in co-designing the fellowship experience for Surge Fellows and see the impact of building leadership capacity for leaders of color across the US. Over the last few years, Surge has created a movement across the educational landscape and I’m super excited to be a member of this very special community.”

“Rodney has been a featured speaker for our Fellowship programming for a number of years and his unique blend of enthusiasm, deep expertise, humility, and unwavering commitment to the elevation and excellence of people of color make him an ideal formal addition to our team.” said Surge Institute Founder & President Carmita Semaan. “Rodney dreams big when he thinks about the future of Surge. And he pairs that passion for innovation and ingenuity with a keen appreciation for the systems, processes, and structures required to help us get there with high fidelity. The future of the Surge Institute has never been brighter and that future will inevitably be illuminated even further with this wonderful addition to our team.”

The Surge Institute is blessed to welcome Rodney Thomas to the team and looks forward to connecting and working to introduce the next facet of transformative executive leadership programming for emerging leaders of color.

#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

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.