National Fellowship for Education Leaders of Color Welcomes 2020 Chicago Cohort

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The Surge Institute, a national education leadership nonprofit dedicated to elevating leaders of color, announces its 2020 Chicago Fellowship cohort.

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"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!"

The Surge Institute, a national non-profit organization, whose mission is to elevate and invest in leaders of color who create transformative change in urban education, recently selected 25 leaders for the sixth cohort of their signature fellowship program in Chicago.

The 25 leaders selected for the 2020 cohort will begin a year-long program, which aims to advance emerging African-American and Latinx leaders. Each of these 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, understanding that change comes from within the community and NOT from outside of it. Each fellow joins this movement at varying points in their professional careers, but all with the same fire and passion for creating equitable shifts for Black and Brown communities. 

“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!”

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

The Surge Fellowship program provides fellows with executive skill training, leadership development, and a space for connection amongst other leaders of color. Within their monthly fellowship sessions, fellows will build community, delving into conversations on topics from change management to personal branding as well as having the opportunity to showcase their work through a Shark Tank project and final capstone presentations. Throughout this journey, Surge also acknowledges that the fellowship is not designed to “build” leaders - instead the program aims to elevate and invest in the genius that is already present within these emerging leaders of color. Overall, Surge seeks to be a mirror for each of these change-makers.

After completion of the program, graduating fellows become part of an elite and growing national network of Surge Alumni, and by the end of 2019, Surge will have more than 100 fellowship alumni leading change in cities across the U.S. In addition to the 25 new Chicago fellows, Surge recently introduced 16 current Oakland fellows this past August.

“The Surge Fellowship is about transformational leadership. It is a movement to develop and train black and brown leaders necessary to realize educational excellence and equity. Through Surge’s cohort structure, we maximize the collective impact that will inspire, challenge, and support each fellow to be their best and sustain our efforts. Our collective impact will change the face of our city, state, and country,” said Ulric Shannon, 2020 Surge Fellow and Director of External Affairs for Civitas Education Partners.

About the Surge Institute:

The Surge Institute was established in 2014 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’s signature program, the Surge Fellowship, 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: http://www.surgeinstitute.org

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Tamara Prather
Surge Institute
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