“The Surge fellowship is not only a movement, but it’s a way of life. The namesake itself means power. When I think of my Black and Brown people I think of the natural born power that rests within us. We live in a society that has a history of creating institutions and hierarchies that are designed to try to diminish our power, the surge that people of color bring into this world. One of the oldest forms of institutionalized racism is the education system. Being a part of Surge means using our collective power to set this racist system ablaze so that a new one can emerge and illuminate the pure force that our children possess.”

Chanelle Bell is the Senior Managing Director, Public and Community Affairs at Teach for America Chicago-NWI.