Jahna Riley is the Founder of Aya Coffee and Books.

“I think people of color – specifically those fighting for the lives of our children – have been beaten up by the institutions we work for. We all need some healing to liberate ourselves and be a part of liberating our communities. After speaking with Surge Alumni and researching for myself, I’m excited to become a part of a program that will contribute to the healing that I desperately need – not just for myself and my family, but for the families I work with and my hometown, Kansas City. Participating in the Surge Academy will help me not only to develop the confidence but the background knowledge and vocabulary to speak truth to power in every room that I enter. It will also help me to develop the skills to think strategically about how to bring in the voices of my brothers and sisters to make an impact.”