Five years ago, Carmita Semaan launched a program that would grow into a national phenomenon, bringing together brilliant minds from all over the country in a diverse collective of Black leaders, Brown leaders, Asian leaders, Pacific-Islander leaders, agents of change, all passionate about tearing down hate and building up love. It started as an idea. Carmita’s idea.
I didn’t see the impacts Surge Fellows and Alums would catalyze in their organizations. I didn’t know that liberation was coming; that people would free themselves from many of the notions that no longer served them, and to pursue who they were born to be. I didn’t see that we’d have such deep impacts on hearts and spirits. It’s better than I could have imagined, and we’re just getting started.”
“My ultimate hope for the future of the Surge movement is that the movement as it exists today is no longer needed. That leaders of color who lead authentically, in love, with their whole beings, to dismantle systems of racism, and co-create the future we hope for in communities, is ubiquitous and a longstanding, sustained norm. My hope is that the seeds planted by this movement will yield a significantly more liberated future for the youth we serve.”
“It brings me so much joy to create a space where people feel seen and heard; where they know they have an ear, a shoulder, or whatever else they need to push change forward. The relationships I have built and helped to cultivate have been a source of motivation and affirmation that what we need most as leaders of color is a tribe that understands our unique journey and can provide the type of support and energy we need to continue to move forward in changing the face of education.“
“Helping to elevate the stories of our community has definitely brought the most joy. What our Fellows, Alumni, and staff are bringing to life in their work feels like a true manifestation of our ancestors’ wisdom and wildest dreams. My hope is for the reach of this movement to be extended to new areas and audiences. College students, local artists, the possibilities are endless but each facet would tie into actualizing a future reimagined by and for brilliant Black, Latinx, and AAPI leaders.”
IDEA Public Schools
UChicago Consortium on College Research
Operations and Finance
Tulsa Public Schools
“I distinctly remember Carmita sharing her espoused agenda of Surge. I am looking forward to that coming to fruition, when Surge alumni are working together (in considerable numbers) on every level of education. When we are shaping policies that support the liberation of our black and brown children.”
Network for College Success
“I am so grateful to have been able to participate in Surge. I hope that Surge continues to expand and serve leaders of color across the country. I am fortunate to be a part of Carmita’s dream and I look forward to being a part of the takeover.”
Latinx Education Collaborative
With nearly 200 alums located in Oakland, Chicago, Kansas City, New York, Washington D.C., and several other states, all working to dismantle oppression and build a better future, this will be a deeply special and historic space. Truly a moment for the movement.
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Our team is cooking up the next iteration of the Surge experience, exploring innovative approaches to building coalitions, supporting our leaders of color, and ensuring our community has the necessary tools to change the world. Our national board and local advisory boards are actively growing and helping design the bright and sustainable future of the Surge movement.
Broad Residency Cohort 2005-2007
Darryl & Angela Cobb
Miranda Family Fund
Carmita & George Semaan
Michael Simonton & Natania Crane
Innovare - Social Innovation Partners
Leslie & John Kerner
Kenny & Heather Mitchell
Judith & Alexander Toland
Doyoung Yong & Jason Strahan
Surge is that space and you have made that possible.
We thank all who have helped us build a space of safety, bravery and innovation for the next generation of leaders. We thank all who have contributed to our work with your brains, hearts and souls. We thank all who are seeing this work for the first time in the pages of the report for reading to this point.
We thank you all, and we look forward to the summit of this mountain.
We know we’ll see you there.