Click to Read More fueling the fire The Surge Institute was built on a simple fact: Our kids are the future. This is not an opinion or a belief. It is fact. From the seeds of today will sprout the dreamers and builders of tomorrow. 2.25 million. That is the number of students across the United States who are impacted by the work of Surge Alumni through education and youth-based organizations. fueling the fire Thanks to You, Change is Possible The Surge Institute was built on a simple fact: Our kids are the future. This is not an opinion or a belief. It is fact. From the seeds of today will sprout the dreamers and builders of tomorrow. Through the acknowledgement of that fact comes another truth: All learning environments are not created with equity. Not all of our seeds are being fed the same amount of water and nutrients. Nor should they be. Not all flowers are the same. They don’t all need the same combination of nutrients. In a garden of varying plants, the conditions for growth vary as well. Such is true of our little ones. Some kids are not getting what they need. Surge seeks to change that.

Some kids are not getting what they need. Surge seeks to change that.

In many urban schools, nearly half the population is made up of children of color, but less than 25 percent of teachers, school leaders, administrators and board members reflect that population. This lack of diversity at the decision making tables has a direct impact on the students and communities being served. Communities of color feel ignored. Students feel misunderstood and sometimes even criminalized.

The disconnect is tangible, visible and traumatic. Surge seeks to change that.

Our work centers around developing, elevating and uniting emerging leaders of color in education. We do it through our signature programs, the Surge Fellowship and the Surge Academy. We do it through thought leadership efforts to make the voices of these leaders heard. We do it through unifying events that put voices at the same table that wouldn’t be there otherwise. We do it through movement.

And it is all thanks to you.

The work of the Surge movement does not happen without a growing crowd of supporters, who have helped turn an idea—built on a truth—into a reality. Think of this annual report as a love letter to the many supporters who believe in watering the seeds of the future.

What follows is a glimpse of the work we couldn’t do without you.
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connection Movement and change don’t happen in silos. The Surge experience is rooted in connection and trust. Before we can take emerging leaders of color on any sort of transformational journey, there must first be a true sense of community, unity and solidarity. "Surge gave me the things I needed and the things I never knew I needed. It was transformational, both personally and professionally." — Ceddrick Hunter, 2016 Chicago Alum Click to Read More connection The Surge Experience is Rooted in Connection and Trust The Surge Fellowship, the flagship program of the Surge movement, currently leads cohorts in Chicago and Oakland, spending a year not just teaching skills through readings and lectures, but truly bringing together a collective of passionate leaders that love and care deeply for one another by the end of the experience. Since 2014, the fellowship has grown and evolved to serve address a rapidly changing education landscape but the hallmarks of the experience have remained deeply tied to true personal connection.

An investment in Surge is an investment in programs that go a step further. Systemic change requires a unified force, as do our youth and communities.
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partnership Connection doesn’t just happen within the fellowship experience. In fact the fellowship and academy programs would not exist and thrive without the connections that help bring brilliant educators of color into our space.

OneGoal, a national nonprofit organization that aims to provide more access to college for students from low-income communities, has partnered with us for years, encouraging multiple rising leaders of color in their organization to experience the Surge Fellowship.
"Simply put, I am clear that we all benefit when incredible Leaders of Color in education have a community of internal and external champions who are committed to nurturing, supporting, and guiding them to be the leaders they were born to be for the communities from which they came. As an organization, I know we will be better positioned to achieve our mission and vision when our students—and those that share similar lived experiences as our students—are leading and thriving. With Surge's support and investment in our staff, I know we are much more likely to make that a reality." —Melissa Connelly, CEO of OneGoal & 2015 Surge Alum It is thanks to our partnership with OneGoal that Melissa Connelly became one of our first Surge Fellows, as part of our inaugural cohort graduating in 2015. Melissa now continues that partnership as the national CEO of OneGoal.

innovation I want to make sure leaders of color get the knowledge and skills that they need to take their work to the next level. I also want them to be able to address any obstacle that gets in the way of this. The post-session surveys are where Fellows let us know if what we are doing is meeting these objectives. Additionally, Fellows are so very generous in offering ideas on how to improve and on new things to try. I am very grateful for the feedback that they provide. In this way, they are co-constructing this program with us.” —Yvonne Rodriguez, Ph.D, Oakland Program Director, Surge Institute learnings A blue sky creative approach is critical to Surge’s vision. As is true about the youth we ultimately aim to serve, we cannot put constraints and shackles on what is possible for our fellows and alums. Surge is a space for learning, but we don’t confine the learning in this movement to just the executive spaces, lecture halls, classrooms, and workshops of the fellowship programs. innovation No Constraints on What is Possible Thanks to investors who share that belief we have been able to launch and continue innovations like the Surge Academy, a national program that brings the Surge experience to small- to mid-sized cities that don’t often have existing spaces bringing together emerging leaders of color in education to explore how to bring about systemic change.

Thanks to the support of these funders the Academy experience returns to Kansas City in January 2020, providing an intensified six-month fellowship experience before continuing it’s national journey to new locations all over the United States.
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learnings Examine and Re-examining, Always— In All Ways Surge is a space for learning, but we don’t confine the learning in this movement to just the executive spaces, lecture halls, classrooms, and workshops of the fellowship programs. The Surge leadership team spends hundreds of hours examining and re-examining every facet of what we do. Is it working? Are our fellows and alumni receiving the best possible experience? Are they growing stronger as leaders? Are we growing as a leaders?

Surveys after each Fellowship session, Academy session, recruitment event, convening, webinars and seminars give us a bit more insight into the impact of our day-to-day work. Larger annual evaluations of our ongoing work with alumni tell the story of progress and growth within the movement. And every bit of critical feedback is taken into account when we design the next phase of the Surge experience.
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by the numbers The story of a movement is told with more than words. The results of our 2019 National Surge Alumni Survey reveals just how the work you’re supporting effectively develops and unites the next generation of education leaders. Look Closer Look Closer impact As of August 2019: < back impact As of August 2019: < back impact As of August 2019: < back impact As of August 2019: < back excellence from the mouths of Surge Alumni: < back excellence from the mouths of Surge Alumni: < back excellence from the mouths of Surge Alumni: < back excellence from the mouths of Surge Alumni: < back

growth Supporting the Surge movement means a commitment to growth in more ways than one. Our fellows grow. Our alumni grow. And, ultimately, the wave of change across the education space grows. Looking ahead to 2020, the Surge Institute’s influence on the education space will see significant elevation. Look Closer Look Closer growth Thanks to investments and support from people who truly believe in this work, we were able to produce a powerful educational documentary, which has already seen screenings in multiple cities and will roll out nationally in the first quarter of 2020! < back growth Supporters of this work made possible our first ever National Alumni Convening, an event that united Surge Alumni from multiple cities in New Orleans for three days of unity, learning, and alignment. < back

Slide-InnovateLearning Funding and Financials Our funders and doors help to keep this movement thriving. Thank you. Most of our work is funded by organizational and individual investors who believe in the work we are doing to transform education. We encourage you to take a closer look at how we received and made productive use of the incredible financial support we received in Fiscal Year 2019. See Our Institutional Partners See Our Individual Donors Slide-Institutional Institutional Funders Our institutional funders help to keep this movement thriving. Thank you. < back Slide-Individuals Individual Donors The work of transforming education for our youth and communities does not happen without the support of mission-aligned believers. We would like to give special recognition and thanks to the individual donors who invested in our work during Fiscal Year 2019. < back $25,000 + Paula A. Sneed & Lawrence P. Bass $3,000 + Darryl & Angela Cobb Greg Gunn & Lisette Nieves $1,000 + [popuppress id="555"] Erica Bauer

Bradley Bernatek

Jean-Claude Brizard

Thomas Burnette

Connie Casson
Sarah Duncan

Mario Estrada Earnest

Stacy Gibbons

Lisa Green

Jennifer Husbands
Marene Jennings

Tyra Mariani

Paul Morgan

Sandra Rush

Michelle Russell
Carmita & George Semaan

Randal Seriguchi Jr.

Judith & Alexander Toland

Doyoung Yong
Nneka Rimmer $1-999

Who We Are Dedicated to the mission of developing, connecting and empowering emerging leaders of color across the education landscape. leadership team Leadership Team Full Profiles board members

Slide-Growth “A year of connection. A year of progress. A year of learning. The Surge movement experienced an evolution in 2019, full of strides and challenges. We had space to fine-tune, grow and elevate our work thanks to support from a growing family of investors who truly believe in this work. We want to express our gratitude to all who continue to show they believe in this. Without you, there is no Surge. —Founder & President Carmita Semaan