Surge Institute Welcomes Fourth Academy Cohort and the First in Washington, DC

(WASHINGTON, DC – December 16th, 2021) In partnership with Education Forward DC, the Surge Institute expanded their Academy fellowship program to Washington, DC earlier this year, and today, the organization officially welcomes 12 leaders from across the area to its fourth Academy cohort & inaugural DC 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. Washington, DC Academy Program Director and 2017 Surge Alumna, Andrea Black Evans, M.Ed. shares what this moment means for the Surge movement and for communities of color in the area.

“The inaugural DC cohort signifies a victory towards our vision to transform the education landscape, and the profoundness of our purpose to empower Black and Brown leaders nationally.  I am gracious for the opportunity to serve the phenomenal fellows of DC, and I revel in the gravitas of this moment for our movement.”

Meet the 2022 Surge Academy DC Fellows:

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.

“As I approach two decades of experience in public education — and particularly after the last five years– I know I am not the same servant-leader,” shared Rhonda Henderson, Partnership Manager at Achievement Network and Surge Academy Fellow.“While my fundamental commitment to equity and a liberatory education system remain intact, my views of what’s possible have expanded. Surge means an opportunity to examine deeply what I know and believe about community, education, and agency.” She continues, “Surge is a family of thinkers, doers, and creators who amplify each other’s vision for a just, people-centered education ecosystem. Through the Surge Academy, I hope to refine my strengths in relationship-building and strategic thinking to support and elevate education-entrepreneurs.”

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.

If you are interested in investing in Surge’s work, consider making a contribution to the #SurgeForMore end-of-year giving campaign. This year, Surge aims to raise $150,000, which will help fund the organization’s signature leadership programs while centering communities and leaders of color within the philanthropic landscape.

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. 

To learn more about The Surge Institute, please visit: or or contact Surge’s Manager, Marketing & Outreach, Marisa Muñoz at 

About Education Forward DC:

Education Forward DC works to advance quality and equity in DC public schools. We are committed to doubling the number of underserved students in Washington, DC in five years who are college and career ready, with a particular focus on at-risk and special education students. We provide grants across the city, offer advisory support to our grantees, and coordinate work across sectors, schools, and organizations in DC to ensure a great public school for every DC student. To learn more about Education Forward DC, please visit: