PHILADELPHIA – November 1, 2022—In partnership with Comcast & Spring Point, please join us in welcoming our inaugural Philadelphia Academy cohort of 14 brilliant leaders of color!
The Surge Institute continues to expand its Academy fellowship program, and today, the organization officially welcomes its seventh Academy cohort.
The Surge Academy is a best-in-class program for emerging leaders of color in education. For this program, Surge identifies and accelerates promising education talent of color to enhance their expertise and aptitude, empowering them to transform the education ecosystem. Philadelphia Academy Program Director Janeen Lee shares what this moment means for the Surge movement and for communities of color in the area.
“Coordinated efforts by collectives of passionate change-makers are what truly drive lasting change. I am honored and excited to facilitate this cohort of leaders in leaning into our collective genius and continuing to shift the tide in education and bring about equitable change.”
Meet the 2023 Surge Academy Philadelphia Fellows:
- Chanell Bates, VP Talent at The Union of Philadelphia Futures & Steppingstone Scholars
- Ubaid Bhatti, High School Educator at Girard College
- Le’Yondo Dunn, Chief Program Officer at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School
- Shannon Ellis, Director, Climate Implementation & Innovation at The School District of Philadelphia
- Malarie Grace, Manager at Elevate 215
- Mandisa John, Director of Program and Partnerships at Urban Teachers – Philadelphia
- Malia Neal, Executive Director, Artwell
- Ashley Pollard, Digital Inclusion Manager at City of Philadelphia
- Biridiana Rodriguez, Director, Quality & Accountability at the School District of Philadelphia’s Charter Schools Office
- Latanya Simmons, Program Director at Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders
- Star Taylor, Program Manager at Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders
- Isaiah Walker, Chief Program Officer at Common Ground Foundation
- Nicholas Wilson, Assistant Principal of Instruction at Hardy Williams Academy
- Micah Wilson, Dean of Students CB Community School and Program Director of Horizons at Greene Street Friends School
The fellowship encompasses a combination of content areas and learning experiences to broaden exposure and accelerate skill and leadership development. Faculty members and informal advisors include high-profile leaders in education and other industries who facilitate and guide fellows’ learning. Throughout the seven-month program, Surge Fellows also develop competency in organizational management, relationship management, strategic planning and problem solving, navigating complex environments, and expertise in the history and structure of public education.
“The opportunity to be named a Surge Fellow is both humbling and rewarding,” shared Shannon Ellis, Director of Climate Implementation & Innovation at The School District of Philadelphia. “I am looking forward to participating in this transformative experience alongside other Black and Brown educational leaders in Philadelphia working to protect, support, and liberate Philadelphia’s youth in their learning, growth, and development. Surge’s cohort model intentionally creates spaces for me to be my authentic self while growing and acquiring new skills to lead in education. I am excited to join the Surge Family, especially this inaugural Philadelphia cohort of dedicated and committed educational trailblazers!”
Upon completing this one-of-a-kind program, Surge Fellows have the skills necessary to accelerate their trajectory in leadership, along with a new understanding of the authenticity and power they bring to the education leadership table.
|About the Surge Institute
The Surge Institute was established in 2014 with a simple but important mission to develop and elevate leaders of color who create transformative change for children, families, and communities. Founded by Carmita Semaan, the organization’s signature program, the Surge Fellowship, was designed to empower emerging diverse leaders to change the landscape of education by providing them with a unique, authentic leadership development experience. In 2018, the Surge Academy launched in Kansas City, bringing together a cohort of 11 African-American and Latinx emerging leaders to explore how to transform education to best serve all youth and communities.