Fellows leave the program having developed an understanding of competency in organizational management, relationship management, strategic planning and problem-solving, navigating complex environments, and expertise in the history and structure of public education. Each fellow will have demonstrated an ability to achieve and lead better, learning how to have a tremendous impact on the broad landscape of leadership and education.

At this time, all 2022 Oakland Fellowship sessions are expected to be held in person. We will continue to follow all federal, state, and local government policies, in addition to following the wisdom of the community, regarding social distancing. Virtual accommodations will be considered if necessary. Our priority is the well-being and safety of our people and community. 

Opening Retreat:
October 7-9, 2021

Session 2:
November 12, 2021

Session 3:
December 10, 2021

Session 4:
January 14, 2022

Session 5:
February 11-12, 2022
(overnight stay)

Session 6:
March 11, 2022

Session 7:
April 8, 2022

Session 8:
May 13, 2022

Session 9:
June 10, 2022

Session 10 & Graduation Retreat: 
July 8-9, 2022

Surge Innovates Through…

IDENTIFICATION. Identifying promising leaders already active within the education sector—instead of focusing on attracting talent from other fields—thus ensuring impressive ROI

TRAINING. Adapting leadership development best practices—full-spectrum support of a carefully selected cohort—to nurture bold leaders committed to building social and racial justice

CHAMPIONING. Providing executive skills training and critical coaching support to high-potential leaders who rarely have access to accelerated learning opportunities

Oakland Surge Fellows are…

CONNECTED. African-American, Latinx or Asian/Pacific Islander emerging leaders working in systems of schools, public policy, education philanthropy and advocacy organizations

ELITE. Proven high-potential trailblazers with track records of professional success

EXPERIENCED. Minimum if six years of relevant working experience and at least a bachelor’s degree.

PASSIONATE. Serving high-need communities, preferably with connections to these communities.


  • Bay-Area based African-American, Latinx or Asian/Pacific Islander leader between the ages of 28 to 40
  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum)
  • Minimum of six years of work experience
  • Employed in education or youth-serving role (district, charter, public policy, philanthropy or advocacy/non profit) at the initiation of and for the duration of the fellowship
  • Passion for positively impacting the lives of young people and their communities


Sponsoring organizations are expected to pay a tuition of $5,000 per fellow for the program. Limited scholarships are available for accepted candidates with financial needs.


  • Two letters of recommendation; one must be from current organization
  • Résumé
  • Completed responses to essay questions
  • Completed memorandum of understanding
  • Ability to attend all sessions and participate for the duration of the program

If you have specific questions, contact Surge at