(Speaking Engagements, Published Works, etc.)

April 2021 India Johnson and Keeanna Warren

March 2021

For #WomensHistoryMonth, Citizen Education asked readers on social media to nominate the women who are changing education for the better. Congratulations to all those a part of the #21in21 campaign, and a special shoutout to Surge’s own India Johnson (INDY’21) and Keeanna Warren (INDY’21) for an incredible recognition.

April 2021 Natalie Neris

Natalie Neris (CHI’17) was a part of a recent panel titled, Equity in Education for All: Closing the Gap. This virtual conversation was moderated by Kate Grossman, a Senior Education Editor for WBEZ.

Guest speakers included Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez (LGC Fellow since 2015), Chief of Network 8 for Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Janice K. Jackson (LGC Fellow since 2007), Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools, and Natalie Neris, Chief of Community Engagement for Kids First Chicago.

April 2021 Cheryl Flores

Cheryl Flores (CHI’19) was elected as a new board member for Telpochcalli Community Education Project (Tcep), a grassroots organization in the Little Village community. She is part of the Donor Stewardship & Cultivation Committee, and she is currently working on developing a strategy for donor cultivation to leverage for the organization’s 20 year anniversary next year.

April 2021 Charles Cole, III

April 2021

Charles Cole, III, Ed.D., MPA (OAK’18) has officially released the audiobook for his dissertation titled, “Beyond Grit & Resilience.” Give it a listen today on Audible or Apple Books.

April 2021

AJ DeLeón (CHI’15) was featured on an episode of LatinxAmerica’s Podcast. Click here to give it a listen and learn about AJ’s journey within education, tech and entrepreneurship as well as co-founding Innovare – Social Innovation Partners.

April 2021 AJ DeLeón

April 2021

AJ DeLeón (CHI’15) was featured on an episode of LatinxAmerica’s Podcast. Click here to give it a listen and learn about AJ’s journey within education, tech and entrepreneurship as well as co-founding Innovare – Social Innovation Partners.

March 2021 Melissa Connelly

March 2021

As part of their #WomensHistoryMonth celebration, CBS Chicago highlighted Melissa Connelly (CHI’15) for her ongoing work as CEO of OneGoal.

February 2021 Jahna Riley

Jahna Riley (KC’20) was recently interviewed for Startland News regarding her Freedom Dreams Project, Aya Coffee + Books, and its immediate impact thus far.

Started as an online bookstore, Aya Coffee + Books in February evolved into a Black History Month Pop-Up shop series. And by the end of 2021, Jahna hopes to secure a brick-and-mortar storefront on Kansas City’s east side.

February 2021 Ángel L. Vélez

Ángel L. Vélez (CHI’21), doctoral candidate in EPOL and OCCRL research associate, was recently featured in an NBC News story on Racism Within Racial Diversity. Vélez explains the danger of making assumptions about Latinos and more. Read the full story here.

February 2021 Nina Sanchez

Nina Sanchez (CHI’17) was selected as part of Chicago magazine’s 30 “New Power 30,” highlighting her transformational, equity-centered work as Director of Enrich Chicago.

December 2020 Ma’at Lands

“Tech is something that is still moving forward. While the world has to stop and the world has slow down we know, and we see that the tech world and tech industry is still moving forward.” — Ma’at Lands

Rooted School (Ma’at Lands, Founding School Leader and 2021 Surge Academy Fellow), Eleven Fifty Academy and the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper have started a partnership with Innopower to provide more opportunities in the tech industry for Black scholars and scholars of color. Learn more about this important partnership in this feature from WISH-TV.