The Surge Institute is the home of the Black Principals Network (BPN)
Launched by Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, the Black Principals Network was designed to curate space for black principals from across the country in pursuit of community, professional growth, and collective liberation. Since the program’s original launch in 2021, more than 350 principals have joined the online platform, participating in shared learning and community building. As the brainchild of Schusterman’s Education Grantmaking team Heather Harding, Senior Director, and Cheryl Thompson, Director, the hope since inception has been that BPN would find a home with an aligned organization.
The Black Principals Network is dedicated to the community, restoration, professional development, and liberation of Black principals across the country. The overarching goal of BPN is to co-create a community of Black principals in pursuit of the career-bolstering and self-sustaining practices that are often not prioritized in this impactful yet demanding role.
BPN envisions a nation where the brilliance, well-being, and success of Black principals are prioritized and nourished. For Black principals to successfully lead, educate, and inspire the communities they serve, there must be an active resistance against the professional burnout, isolation, trauma, and repression commonly experienced within this role. Black principals need a safe, nutritive space to connect with and learn alongside peers near and far. Through individual programming focused on self-discovery, sustainability, and radical self-care combined with collective programming that centers on problem-solving, access to high-quality resources, and critical reflection, BPN will help further equip Black principals in their roles as leaders and educators, and add to their well-roundedness as human beings.
Our Principles of Practice
Community is the gathering of hearts, minds, and resources for the co-creation of knowledge, connection, and healing for the collective.
Restoration is the intentional prioritization of rest and renewal for ourselves so that we can navigate our daily lives from a place of groundedness and abundance.
Professional Growth is the examination and development of our own areas of refinement so that we can best support the growing needs of our current school communities.
Liberation is the expansion of the mindset, resources, and autonomy of individuals in service of collective healing.
Members of the Black Principals Network Are Individuals Who:
- Currently serve as a principal in a district, charter, independent, virtual, or parochial school in the United States
- Have weathered challenges, either professionally or personally, and demonstrated tenacity, perseverance, and maturity, and are
willing to share their expertise
- Commit to deepening or expanding their leadership in community with others
- Demonstrate an individual commitment to advancing racial equity and pursuing liberation
- Possess a resilient and ambitious attitude that believes change is possible
Want to join or partner with BPN?
The Leadership Collaborative
The Leadership Collaborative is a more intimate cohort immersive learning experience created out of feedback from BPN members. While gathering data about what school leaders really need during this time, the repeat request was for an opportunity for leaders who share collective cultural backgrounds, experiences, and goals across the nation to gather, connect, innovate, and share solution-based strategies while building community.
The Leadership Collaborative is a monthly, community space consisting of seven sessions of which include 4 virtual and 3 in-person connection points that will provide a deeper sense of connection through programming. The program includes an intentional professional learner series, individual principal coaching, self-care strategies/practices, and a problem of practice that selected leaders nationwide will collectively work on together to take back to their school communities. Our goal is to support Black principals in their quest to proactively and effectively address the problems of practice germane to the school communities they serve.
TLC '24 Dates
April 4-6, 2024 | New Orleans
In-person Onboarding & Opening Retreat
How Do You Show Up?: The power of authentic leadership
May 8, 2024 | Virtual
All Hands on Deck: The role of distributive leadership in identifying, developing and retaining your staff
June 12, 2024 | Virtual
Picking Up the Pieces: Leading through Disruption and Reuniting your Culture and Climate
July 11-13, 2024 | Washington D.C.
The Core Vs the Root: Addressing Implicit and Conscious Biases with Courageous Conversations
August 7, 2024 | Virtual
It Takes a Village: Leveraging Family and Community Engagement
September 11, 2024 | Virtual
Liberating Student Voices: Using qualitative and quantitative data to move students forward
October 3-5, 2024 | Chicago
Where Do We Go From Here?: The Path Moving Forward
Final presentation and Closing Celebration