The Chicago Surge Fellowship identifies and accelerates promising African-American and Latinx education talent to enhance their expertise and aptitude, empowering them to transform the education ecosystem. Fellows hone:

  • Executive Skills
  • Problem-Solving
  • Team-Building Techniques
  • Navigating Education History & Politics
  • Proclaiming Your Authentic Story/Background
  • Strategic Relationship Management

This experience is curated to generate both individual and collective transformation through healing and a reclamation of our leadership narratives centered on the power and strength of our racial and ethnic identities and how they supremely qualify us to impact the communities and students we serve.

Chicago Applications are Currently Closed.

Surge Chicago Leadership

Executive Director
Tamara Prather
Tamara Prather
Executive Director
Carmita’s superpower is to be a mirror for others. She supports and elevates the genius of emerging and seasoned leaders and shines a light on the brilliance and ingenuity too often overlooked and untapped in solving systemic issues.

After starting her career as an engineer and strategist for multiple Fortune 500 companies, corporate America could not contain Carmita’s desire to lead initiatives that benefit youth and revitalize communities – so she blazed a trail within the non-profit sector, primarily in K-12 education.

Though an adopted Chicagoan, Carmita proudly hails from Birmingham, AL. Birmingham’s history has greatly shaped what she feels called to do and the hustle, horsepower, and heart she exhibits.

Program Director, Chicago
Cecily Relucio
Cecily Relucio
Program Director, Chicago
Cecily Relucio is an accomplished professional educator with nearly two decades of professional experience working in, with, and outside the Chicago Public Schools. She believes that the challenges of fighting for an equitable, just and humane education for all Chicago youth—especially those who have been most systemically disenfranchised—are immense, and that educational leaders of color are critical to the transformation of the present system and conditions.

Cecily began her career in education as an elementary classroom teacher at a public school on the southwest side of Chicago. Since transitioning from the classroom, she has been privileged to serve as a professional developer, instructional coach, university-based teacher educator, and program leader. She has served in leadership capacities in both teacher education and new teacher induction programming and policy, developing a specialized focus on diversity, equity, and social justice education.

Through her professional experiences, Cecily has developed a nuanced understanding of the educational system—the challenges as well as promising interventions—from a range of vantage points. She brings her lived experience of the barriers that educators of color face on a daily basis and difficult lessons learned about leadership, as well as clarity about how her experiences and knowledge as a woman of color are an asset and strength that she brings to her work.

In addition to her work with Surge, Cecily is a doctoral student in Curriculum Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research and teaching has been centered on using Critical Race Theory and praxis to critique and transform urban teacher education and teacher professional development. Her research seeks to identify interventions that contribute to diversifying the teacher workforce, by addressing structural barriers that interfere with the recruitment, preparation and retention of preservice and in-service teachers of color.

While her identity and experiences as an educator are central to who she is and how she hopes to make an impact upon the world, Cecily’s most cherished, important and challenging role in life is mothering her two biracial daughters, Vanessa and Mia, ages 14 and 9.

To learn more about Surge Chicago, send us an email at We look forward to hearing from you!