2021 Surge Oakland Cohort
The C.R.E.A.T.O.R.S.

2021 Surge Chicago Cohort
The Disruptors

(August 6th, 2021) The 2021 Surge Chicago and Oakland cohorts have officially graduated from the prestigious Surge Fellowship program and transitioned into Surge’s National Alumni Network!

On July 10th, 2021, we honored our 2021 Oakland Fellows, better known as the C.R.E.A.T.O.R.S. The joyous celebration was guided by the theme “The Power of Authentic Leadership,” which was exemplified through the afternoon’s powerful keynote speakers Tyfahra Singleton, a 2020 Surge Oakland Alum and member of The Takeover, who offered words regarding the ongoing work as Surge Alumni, as well as Christopher Williams, who was selected by his cohort to offer some reflections to the space on behalf of the 2021 fellows. We were later joined by Founder & President Carmita Semaan, and our time together concluded with the warm pillars of our graduation space – the Ceremony of Transition and Circle of Love. 

The following week on July 17th, we highlighted the completion of the Chicago Surge Fellowship for our 2021 Fellows, also known as the Distruptors. Friends, family and peers of the Distruptors tuned into the virtual gathering and celebrated the conclusion of the 10 month fellowship journey. During the celebration, we were joined by a panel of Surge Alumni including Janine Franklin ‘18, Brian Harris ‘20, Steven Rosado ‘19, and Maraliz Salgado ‘18, who all shared vulnerable and honest thoughts around continuing to do the critical work in education and tapping into Surge’s Alumni network to catalyze transformative change in the systems that are not serving nor seeing Black and Brown Chicago communities. Afterwards, the cohort shared intimate connections through the Circle of Affirmation ceremony, and Dalonte Burns also provided the charge to his fellow Disruptors as the cohort’s keynote speaker. It was truly magical!

 “Even though Surge was virtual this year, it was amazing how I and the other fellows were still able to build a community, ” said Cindy Agustín Peña. “Despite being on Zoom every month (for our fellowship sessions), we still found moments where we could connect, and I was able to find that sense of community and knowing that someone is there to support you and has your back.”

See the full list of 2021 Surge Fellowship Graduates below: