Joanna Vazquez Zelaya

“The Surge Fellowship acknowledges that we are the best advocates and creators of change for our own communities. I want to be part of Surge because it understands the power of our own community and is willing to invest in radical ways to challenge the manifestation of intersectional oppression. Surge understands that the work continues beyond ourselves and I want to be part of the movement that knows and acts on the continued need for making space for more folks from our communities.”

Joanna Vazquez is an advocate for students who find themselves at the intersection of identities. Joanna is leading Oakland’s charge in designing Linked Learning high schools across the city in order transform the experience of students within the classroom to engage students in contextualized and relevant learning. Joanna is committed to fulfilling Oakland’s hope of preparing students for college, career, and community in more intentional and responsive manner that is conscious of the complex interests of young people.  Her passion for social justice, educational equity, and holistic development of young people stems from upbringing in Fullerton, CA as a first generation high school and college graduate.

Learn more about Joanna.

Randal Seriguchi

“Reform will require more than representation—it will require reflection. Future change agents and leaders need to see themselves in the change agents and leaders of today. I still have a lot more growth to do personally, socially, and professionally, and I think it is too late to count myself as a leader of tomorrow. The time for my contribution will be here sooner than that. Knowing that I’m not yet ready to jump into the leadership fray, the best gift I can give to the future leaders of the movement is to help prepare the space for their arrival. One of the most important components of that preparation is our presence—we need to be here, whatever we define “here” to be. I’ve learned firsthand that “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” Surge is helping us find our seats, and we’re hungry.”

Randy Seriguchi, Jr. is the Executive Director of Urban Ed Academy (UEA), a non-profit based in Bayview Hunters Point in San Francisco, CA that serves elementary school boys of color. He believes success for our boys should come by any means necessary. Money, resources, and time should be spent until we get our intended result: focused development of boys who will become productive men.

In another life, Randy is a scratch golfer and has a photographic memory. In this life, he is a hall of fame shower soloist, a mama’s boy, and makes a mean omelette.

Learn more about Randy.

Sara Rizik-Baer

“A fellowship program trains aspiring professionals for the careers they seek. The Surge movement goes beyond, seeking to change the face of leadership in education. Rather than simply being a program where individuals can work on their personal professional goals, the Surge Fellowship is creating a network where people of color can learn together, connect with one another, and go into the world of education leadership with a mindset focused on equity and diversity. I care deeply about the well-being and future of my community and am eager to apply my diverse background in education, family and teacher engagement, and non-profit administration to impact early education on a macro-level. The Surge Fellowship will provide the peer support, guidance, and education necessary to be effective in a landscape in which few leaders reflect the populations they serve.

Sara Rizik-Baer believes in the power of children’s books to foster critical thinking and the life-long pursuit of knowledge. Her holistic view of the urban education landscape is informed by the multiple roles she has assumed in the field as a family literacy specialist, literacy coach, and bilingual teacher. Sara holds a Master’s of Language and Literacy from Harvard University and a BA in Comparative Literature and Spanish from Oberlin College.

Learn more about Sara.

Marielle Narcisa

“Diversity in leadership is necessary across all sectors, but most critically in education. We have the opportunity to develop our students to be the next generation of socially conscious changemakers but lack the representation they need to feel empowered to take action. It is essential that leaders guiding our students and making decisions on their behalf provide them with the resources and skills they need to transform our marginalized communities. The Surge Fellowship is changing the face of leadership in education by arming us with the tools we need to unapologetically represent our student’s voices at the decision-making table. During these divisive times, to be part of this movement will stimulate a ripple effect needed to further the mission toward a more inclusive and equitable society.”

Armed with a passion for civic engagement and a hearty laugh, Marielle has successfully mobilized thousands of volunteers in cities across the country to benefit underserved students and communities in Chicago, New York City, and the Bay Area. She is a skilled connector who cultivates cross-sector relationships by matching philanthropic priorities of corporate donors to community needs.

Learn more about Marielle.

 

Monique Moore

“The idea of a coalition of leaders of color driving enduring change is what has most compelled me to be a part of the fellowship. To me, Surge means a shift in power—specifically the idea that women and men of color have the capacity to not only lead in this movement but shape this movement. Surge stands for an explicit investment in me and my development that will enable me to have the long-term impact I want.”

Innovator.  Cultural Leader.  Coach. Monique Moore has spent over a decade in education exploring how to build culturally competent educators prepared for the rigors of teaching in our most vulnerable communities. She is the Founder of Monique Moore Consulting LLC.

Most recently, Monique founded and launched TFA – Bay Area’s pre-service institute, setting vision and strategy for a teacher development program that annually trains over 190 early educators and touches the lives of over 1500 students.  Under Monique’s leadership, TFA Bay Area’s training institute achieved exemplary outcomes, earning the top results across the organization for both corps member experience and student outcomes for large urban regions. Four years out, the Bay Area pre-service program is considered a model for other regions across the country.  She’s held various other roles at TFA as both a national project manager and diversity recruiter – achieving exceptional results that impact communities across the country.

Learn more about Monique.

Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare

“For me, it isn’t enough to be a leader of color in education. It is critical that I unapologetically represent and serve Oakland’s students of color. I’m excited to connect and lead with a group of peers who are equally passionate about strengthening the landscape of education in Oakland in meaningful, creative, and transformative ways. The Surge Fellowship will allow me to dedicate my own perspective & expertise as I connect with local educational leaders of color to build on our shared experiences and connection to our communities.”

Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare is a strategic human resources advisor with experience in corporate & non-profit environments. Her passion for community empowerment and youth development fuels her mission to advance equity & engage and develop the talent within the organizations that serve them. As the Head of Talent & Equity for Peer Health Exchange, she leads all aspects of their Talent function namely the development and implementation of PHE’s human capital strategy. Tina currently serves on the Board of Directors for Lighthouse Community Public Schools and is a member of the Surge Institute’s Inaugural Oakland Fellowship (2018). She’s an occasional blogger and is most likely the only person you know still fiercely loyal to her Blackberry device.

Pronouns in use: She, Her/Hers

Learn more about Tina.

 

Bernadette Pilar Zermeño

“I believe humans and myself thrive when we understand why we do our work and find ways to continue to be inspired. I am passionate about seeking a diverse and critical body of teachers and leaders who look like the students we work and grow alongside. As students and leaders of color, we continue to face the historical systems of oppression that has tried to kept us down and buried. Yet the Surge Fellowship embodies a movement and to me is reflected in the Mexican Proverb – “Quisieron enterrarnos, pero se les olvido que somos semillas” or “They tried to bury us, but they forgot we are seeds.” No matter what new laws, new orders, or removal of healthcare, more budget cuts, less pay; we continue to rise up, unite, and empower our communities.”

Bernadette Pilar Zermeño is a movement maker, community mobilizer, and early childhood educator.  With over fifteen years of experience in early education, she remains passionate about working alongside adults and children to facilitate lifelong learning beginning at the earliest ages. 

As the inaugural TK teacher at ASCEND in Oakland, Bernadette Pilar has a determination and passion for early education and developmentally appropriate practices. Bernadette was also a founding dual immersion Transitional Kindergarten (TK) teacher in Oakland Unified School District. She is an Adjunct Professor of Early Childhood at Chabot College in Hayward, a literacy specialist and Preschool and TK professional development provider. As an advocate for children of Oakland, she is a member of Oakland Rising and Lead East Bay. She serves on the California Kindergarten Association Board of Directors. Bernadette Pilar is National Board Certified as an Early Childhood Generalist.  She holds an MA in Education with a bilingual multiple subject teaching credential and a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.

Learn more about Bernadette.

Harold Pearson

“I am excited to help lead a systematic movement that creates structures for our communities to have the knowledge, human capital, and resources we need to thrive.”

Harold Pearson is the Executive Director of SPAAT, a non-profit corporation he co-founded to serve student athletes in the Oakland Bay Area. His experiences as a high school athlete, community college transfer, Division I football player, and a business professional, have prepared him to understand and address the challenges faced by the student athletes that SPAAT serves. Mr. Pearson has also served as assistant commissioner for the CIF Oakland Section and was formerly a partner at a San Francisco based litigation-outsourcing firm. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Learn more about Harold.

Sonya Mehta

“Programs like Surge are essential to sustaining the movement for justice and equity through community, allyship, mentorship, shared struggle, shared successes, and a commitment to continually learn and evolve together.”

Sonya Mehta lives, works, and engages in progressive education reform work in Oakland, CA. For five years, she taught kindergarten at a Title I school in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, and in her time as a teacher, she served on the instructional leadership team and was also a 2014-16 teacher policy fellow with the Great Oakland (GO) Public Schools coalition.

Nicole Magtoto

“As a Bay Area native, I am deeply devoted to serving younger generations here. The Surge Fellowship will present me with a unique opportunity to grow as a leader and in community with other educators of color. Our work together can empower young people to not only know themselves as scholars but to fight for their scholarly rights and support them in creating more tangible realities. I am excited to be a part of a community whose work can create deep ripples of change for—and with—our young people, the kind of community only the Bay Area can nurture.”

Nicole Magtoto, a product of San Francisco Unified, now serves as an Educational Policy Analyst, and has been the architect behind the roll out of  SFUSD’s Board of Education Resolutions supporting students dealing with parental incarceration and homelessness. By tapping into her experience working as a recruiter in SFUSD’s HR department, she has had success in leading this innovative work and she has leveraged her artistic inclinations and improv skills to help build these new realities for young people.

Learn more about Nicole.