Jannah Muhammad

Jannah Muhammad is the Development and Partnership Coordinator at SchoolTalk.

“As a Surge Fellow I hope to further advocate for my vision of education equality. In this education system, all students, teachers, families, and the surrounding communities, have their needs met. This fellowship offers the rare opportunity to unite with other like minds that are working toward that vision. Through Surge, I hope to learn from a diverse and unique range of experiences that will lead us closer to that vision. My role as a development and partnerships coordinator for SchoolTalk, a D.C. nonprofit focused on tackling complex problems that impact youth and the schools and systems that support them, places me in close proximity to experts in the field of restorative justice and longstanding advocates for youth living with disabilities. I hope to use Surge to grow this network and learn from other leaders in the field.”

 

Marcus Wilson

Marcus Wilson is the Manager, Program Operations at CityWorks DC

“The Surge Fellowship and Surge Academy understand that the work that needs to be done in our communities must be detached from whiteness and that problems negatively impacting Black and brown people can be solved by that same demographic. In order to manifest my vision into a reality, I will immerse myself into the authentic and diverse community that Surge creates — consisting of various ideas and experiences conducive to the greater good. I would be intentional about listening to others before sharing my own thoughts and opinions. Also, I would be dedicated to challenging myself to remain open to new perspectives, which will ultimately lead to me combining these vast experiences into one strategic approach toward education equality.”

 

Nicole Savage

Nicole Savage is the Director, Early College Academy at Coolidge Senior High School, DCPS

“At times, educating our Black and Brown students seems like a persistent negotiation between best intentions and ‘just get it done’, and it’s exhausting. Simply put, our young people deserve better than this. They deserve a better system and educators who are invigorated by the possibility of their future. Surge offers the opportunity to step outside of our everyday work to rethink the possibilities. I want to confer with educators for both affirmation and dissension to push my thinking. Moreover, I want to commit and contribute to an experience (a movement, if you will) that anchors my dedication to education for years to come. As a movement, I believe Surge will envelop me into a community, forging a bond and igniting a spark to capitalize on the possibility of what education should be.”

 

Zakiya Sackor

Zakiya Sackor is the Executive Director at Kindred Communities.

“As a new executive director, the opportunity to be a part of the Surge Academy has come at the perfect time. Being a part of the inaugural Surge Academy cohort in DC is not only a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it also serves as a safe space to hone my skills in community with other committed Black and Brown leaders. I also find value in being a part of a coalition of leaders working together to create a matrix of tiered support that will have immediate and long-term positive impacts for our students and families.”

 

Voncia Monchais

Voncia Monchais is the Director of Youth Engagement at Mikva Challenge.

“My vision of education equality is that all students, regardless of their zip code, cultural background, socioeconomic status, race/ ethnicity, identity (gender, religious, sexual orientation, etc), has equitable access, opportunity, and exposure to all possibilities in life, and are equitably and strategically invested in with all necessary resources, including quality teachers, technology, buildings, enrichment programs, quality and inclusive curriculum, mental health specialists, representative & empowering leaders, and customized strategies that are co-created by the students and communities themselves, etc to thrive. The Surge Movement has so many incredible leaders that are sitting at the table and in positions of influence to make these changes that are needed NOW to empower and unite communities of color, especially while our power, humanity and even existence is under constant attack in this hyper-partisan climate. I want to work alongside that network of changemakers to make this vision a reality – to learn from them, to collaborate and be co-conspirators in our commitment to reinvent systems and power structures, make a change and to take action together to enact these necessary changes so that our students of color have an equal opportunity to succeed in life!”

 

Loreal Latimer

Loreal Latimer is the Senior Director of Program Innovation at OneGoal.

“Surge is shattering ceilings for what it looks like to mobilize, cultivate, and tap into the potential that is sometimes deeply buried in the souls of leaders of color in education. To be a part of something that thrusts you out of your fears and limiting beliefs that your comfort zone so that you can develop the skills and belief in the value you hold to show up bolder in the work we do for the students we serve is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m honored to be a part of that movement!”

 

Arman Lakes

Arman Lakes, Ed.D is a School Counselor at Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, DCPS.

“I interpret the Surge Fellowship as a movement because it will take a movement to make lasting impactful change. The Surge Fellowship is designed to help elevate leaders of color and give them the necessary skills to be transformational. The transformation happens when you have a diverse group of talent. I believe the movement does not conclude once the fellowship ends but Surge Fellows become a part of a community that empowers young leaders of color and can pay the wisdom and advocacy forward. Equipping Surge Fellows with the knowledge and skills necessary to become better leaders will allow them to give back and help the communities they are working for. I want to be a part of the Surge Movement because I truly believe that I have the ambition and drive to make change in my community and the world. I am a leader with a clear north star and am unapologetic about my mission as an educator. I humbly work on behalf of Black and Brown youth whose voices have been suppressed but deserve the best education possible.”

 

LeKisha Jordan

LeKisha Jordan is a Senior Policy Advisor at Council of the District of Columbia.

“Surge is a movement focused on ending policies that disproportionately impact students of color and/or contribute to the school to prison pipeline, and Surge is connected to the broader movement to address poverty and racial inequities across schools and communities. I am excited to be a part of this work and this cohort of brilliant leaders as we work in community to better the District.”

 

Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is the Senior Partnerships Strategist and Communications Manager at Kindred Communities.

“My vision for education equity is that every student, regardless of their racial background or their zip code, has the opportunity to academically succeed and pursue careers that allow them to thrive. I am excited to join the Surge network to build authentic relationships with my peers, broaden my understanding of the range of complex challenges confronting improvements in education, and learn how they are being tackled by leaders across the nation. In doing so, I’m hoping to be able to grow as a leader and support my peers in their work to advance education equity.”

 

Rhonda Henderson

Rhonda Henderson is the Partnership Manager at Achievement Network.

“As I approach two decades of experience in public education — and particularly after the last five years– I know I am not the same servant-leader. While my fundamental commitment to equity and a liberatory education system remains intact, my views of what’s possible have expanded. Surge means an opportunity to examine deeply what I know and believe about community, education, and agency. Surge is a family of thinkers, doers, and creators who amplify each other’s vision for a just, people-centered education ecosystem. Through the Surge Academy, I hope to refine my strengths in relationship-building and strategic thinking to support and elevate education-entrepreneurs.”