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Surge Institute Newsletter
Fall 2016
Table of Contents

Good Reads
 

Here are a few insightful links and articles to keep your finger on the pulse of the education discussion.
 
 
 
The Learning Landscape is an excellent source for the latest on the state of American education. 
 
"I Do Not Need My Freedom When I'm Dead," by Surge founder and president Carmita Vaughan.
 
 
Ana Martinez on the Blog 
 
 
In an evocative blog post on Surge Speaks, Ana Martinez addresses the necessity of embracing discomfort in order to achieve "transformative change" in education. Maintaining that the leaders in our classrooms are essential to progress in education, she argues that the systemic nature of inequality will remain an obstacle to lasting change unless we overcome the divisiveness of education debates. Our children are best served when we confront differing perspectives for the sake of a better conversation and a broader understanding. (Read more..)
 
 
Upcoming Events  

 
November 29, 2016 will mark the kick-off of the 2016 #SurgeForMore campaign! 
 
 
Be prepared to join the conversation.
 
     
 
Greetings!
 
As the summer days come to an end, we are reflecting on a season of inspiring transformation at Surge. I am proud to celebrate the graduation of the 2016 Surge Fellows and welcome the Vanguards into the Surge alumni familyTurning our attention to fall, we enthusiastically invite the new 2017 Surge Fellows to join our movement. It was heartening and thrilling to choose this new class of amazing leaders, and we look forward to supporting their collective journey to dramatically improve outcomes for Chicago's young people through their innovation and impact.
 
I hope this issue of our newsletter connects you meaningfully with Surge’s mission and inspires you to join in the conversation.

I continue to be genuinely moved by your support as we strive for equity in education.
 
In community,
 
 
 
 
Carmita (Vaughan) Semaan, Founder and President
 
 Recent News 

 
 Congratulations, Graduates!
 
 
Our 2016 Surge Fellows have graduated! Their final session, held at the McDonald's Hamburger University campus, began on August 18 with a fireside chat with Monica Haslip, visionary founder and executive director of Little Black Pearl. Fellows remained in esteemed company throughout graduation weekend, as we welcomed Dr. Howard L. Fuller, Andre Perry, Terra WinstonSwati Bharteey-Buck, Juan SalgadoSurge alum Melissa Connelly, and Surge Board Member Darryl Cobb. Fellows presented their capstone projects, and then enjoyed a private graduation luncheon celebrating their achievements. Congratulations, Vanguards — we are excited to see you #LeadTheSurge! 
2017 Fellowship Cohort Announced

 
We are proud to welcome the 2017 Surge Fellows! The final cohort of 22 of highly motivated and inspiring leaders was selected from 45 excellent candidates, and announced on September 6, 2016. Special thanks to our selection panel: Lincoln Chandler, Forrest Moore, Sarah Duncan, Jose Rico, Terra Winston, Grisel MaldonadoNicholas A. Pearce, Andrea Saenz, and Melissa Connelly. Thank you to all of our supporters for connecting us with an outstanding group of applicants. The best referrals often come through personal connections with amazing leaders — like you!
 Fellows Engage With Community Leaders and Distinguished Alumni
 
 
On June 17, Fellowship Session 9 welcomed Kim Foxx, Democratic candidate for Cook County State's Attorney, to the Lawndale Christian Development Center to meet with Fellows to discuss her shared passion for education equity. Surge alum Candace Moore then delivered a powerful presentation on unconscious bias. 
 
Session 10 took place at Chicago Scholars on July 15 and offered Surge Fellows the chance to engage with education reform advocates and entrepreneurial trailblazers. Richard Nyankori, executive vice president at Insight Education Group, Dominique Jordan Turner, president and CEO of Chicago Scholars, and Swati Bharteey-Buck, co-founder of LeaderStages, all came to share their insights with Fellows. 
 
Farewell to Our Education Pioneers Fellow
 
Madeline King joined the Surge team this summer as the organization's first Education Pioneers Fellow. She is currently pursuing her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. This summer, Madeline worked closely with the Surge Institute team to design a strategic expansion framework to guide Surge's first launch process beyond Chicago in 2017. Many friends of Surge contributed to this research by sharing the best practices from their organizations. "My experience working with Surge has been incredibly powerful — from having the opportunity to observe Fellowship sessions and keynote speakers, to collaborating with the Surge staff and senior advisors." Madeline has been a tremendous asset to the Surge team, and we wish her well.
 
 
 
 
Featured Fellow 
 
Get to Know
Erica Hines
High School Success Program Manager, LINK Unlimited Scholars
 
 
 
1. What is the last education-related book you read?
 
On the recommendation of my co-Fellow Nicole Beechum, I started Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity. Some of the data are not surprising but are a stark reminder of the very real work our schools and society must commit to in order to do right by our children.
 
2. Surge is a movement to change education in America. What does progress look like to you, and how will you know when we are making a sustainable impact?
 
Progress would look like more leaders having conversations about equity and justice before formulating policies or implementing strategies. It would mean the core constituents — the students and families we're serving — having an authentic voice and authority in the decisions affecting them. We'll know we, and Surge, have made a sustainable impact when we're not only seeing more people of color in the halls of power, but when we've all started lifting as we climb so there is truly a surge in what the face of education leadership looks like. 
 
3. Why did you apply to the Surge Fellowship? What has been the biggest "ah-ha" moment so far?
 
I applied to Surge because I was really interested in having access to the network of individuals making an impact on education in Chicago. I wanted to learn from the best and understand exactly what is happening in the wider education landscape. My biggest "ah-ha" moment has been seeing how the political and personal can — and even must — mix! We've heard from leaders whose authentic selves are an asset to their work, not something that they have to hide or only bring to the forefront when it's safe. 
 
4. Who is a historical figure who inspires you?  
 
I'm inspired by Zora Neale Hurston. She showed tenacity in walking through the world as a Black woman writer and researcher in the early 20th century. I'm also impressed by her beautiful writing and her dedication to gaining and sharing an anthropological understanding of Black life.
 
 
 
 
Fellow and Alumni Recognition 

 
Join us in congratulating Surge Fellows and alumni on recent successes.
 
Nicole Beechum (2016) is now a senior research analyst for the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. Michelle Bess (2016) began a new position as a talent specialist for Sprout Social. Melissa Connelly (2015) was promoted at OneGoal to the position of managing director of postsecondary programs. Ceddrick Hunter (2016) accepted a position as a STEM instructor at KIPP Chicago. LeShonne Segura (2015) began a new position as the manager of family and community engagement at the Northwestern University Settlement Association, as well as the position of associate board member for Chicago Scholars. TaMikka Sykes (2016) is the new principal of Amidon-Bowen Elementary School with DC Public Schools.
 
Visit the Fellow and Alumni Recognition page for full details. 
The Surge Institute

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