Over the April 29-30 weekend, The Leadership Collaborative (TLC) celebrated the beginning of their immersive learning experience together at their opening retreat in Houston, Texas. The Leadership Collaborative is a brand new collective experience designed for Black principals across the nation to co-create and learn together. Their weekend retreat programming emphasized community building, restoration, and professional growth.
A more intimate cohort created out of feedback from members of the Black Principals Network (BPN), this inaugural collective is comprised of 20 Black school leaders from across the U.S. who will be coming together in a monthly community space to support, elevate, and uplift the youth and communities they serve. Their program will consist of seven sessions with a mix of in-person and virtual experiences meant to provide a deeper sense of connection. The cohort will experience an intentional professional learner series, individual principal coaching, self-care strategies and practices, and a problem of practice that these selected leaders will collectively work on to take back to their school communities.
“I firmly believe that within this collective group of 20 phenomenal Black school leaders there is unlimited power, immeasurable passion, and a shared commitment to reimagining what effective school leadership looks like,” said Black Principals Network Executive Director TaraShaun Cain. “For so long, these leaders have poured into their schools, their communities, and their families, so I am grateful that the Black Principals Network gets to co-curate this necessary space through the Surge Institute.”
At the opening retreat, sessions focused specifically on leadership and building community, a golden opportunity for leaders who share collective cultural backgrounds, experiences, and goals to gather, connect, innovate, and share solution-based strategies. Speakers included Surge’s own TaraShaun Cain (BPN Executive Director), Angia Kincey (BPN Program Manager), Amanda Aiken (Doctoral Resident, Innovation), Will Collins (Chief Advancement Officer), Andrea Black Evans (Executive Director of Surge Academy), and Carmita Semaan, Surge’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Renowned guest speakers were Rodney Thomas, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Center Forward Inc; Nancy Hanks, Senior Partner of The Management Action Center; and Femi Skanes, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Leadership EDGE.
“Through The Leadership Collaborative and the Black Principals Network,” explained Surge Founder and CEO Carmita Semaan, “our goal is to support Black principals in their quest to proactively and effectively address the problems of practice germane to the school communities they serve.”