Amber White


Amber White is the Associate Director of Program at Beyond 12.

“A movement can only stay alive when those involved are deeply and genuinely invested, not involved for optics or social media. With that said, my hopes to be accepted in the Surge Fellowship cohort of 2022 would be much more than a “great opportunity” or a “fun challenge” but an absolute requirement in order to sustain collective freedom and dismantle a White dominant culture. I know that I cannot create this freedom alone and complacency is not an option; I have to actively and genuinely seek out those who are already engaging in freedom dreaming and transforming systems (that start with education, but whose impacts are far-reaching). I am not only looking to lean into my own healing and ancestral wisdom but to be in an environment where all folks can and are encouraged to do so. After working and existing in so many white spaces, being and seeing the Black, Brown and Indigenous experiences be disregarded or their expertise being undervalued I am choosing to be incredibly deliberate about the environment in which I engage and I am certain that the Surge Fellowship is one where I can both be of service to Black, Brown and Indigenous leaders and be propelled forward by our liberation and resilience together.”


Crystal Simmons


Crystal Simmons is the Director of Student Support Services at Yu Ming Charter School.

“Surge is a movement committed to creating a network of professionals that are able to support one another in a common mission- to spur systemic change towards serving the needs of students of color. I want to be a part of the Surge movement because, in my years of being in education, I’ve found that meaningful change for students has to come from changing the system. If I want to influence that change, I have to be a leader in education to take part in systemic change. I also have to learn and grow in my ability to lead, be connected to a community of people that have a similar vision, be in a community that is committed to supporting the growth of one another as leaders, and be in a community that has models from which I can learn. I feel that Surge provides the learning and community opportunities that will allow me to grow as a leader and embody the change that I want to see in education.”


Sabrina Moore


Sabrina Moore is the Program Director Systemic Instructional Review at Alameda County Office of Education.

“Imagine a world where a Black-female leader can thrive and live liberated from the intersectional oppressions of racism and sexism. Imagine a world where a Black-female leader dreams, that dream becomes a vision and that vision a reality. Imagine a world where a Black-female leader can show up in her Black-female excellence and be all the things. I cannot imagine that world. I can imagine a world where like-minded, leaders stand in solidarity, and synergy toward collective liberation and empowerment to change the world for students who will stand on our shoulders. I want, no, I need to be a part of that synergy. That synergy is Surge!”


Sabeena Shah


Sabeena Shah is an English Teacher, Entrepreneurship and Culinary Arts Pathway, John O’Connell High School at San Francisco Unified School District

“I want to be a part of the Surge movement because I want more strategy and practice in using my power and position to shape change. I want to work collectively with educators of color to generate the change we need for our students and our communities. In my experience with Surge, I have felt the power of this movement- the strength, passion, and knowledge has been invigorating and healing. The workshops I attended on exploring the role of love in our work, building real solidarity across communities of color, and healing in the service of leading have created space for reflection and growth. I can’t express how impactful this movement is other than to say that I feel more deeply alive and aligned to my values, and more connected to fellow educators of color.”


Tomás Rodriguez


Tomás Rodriguez is the College Completion Advisor at College Track Oakland.

“My vision of educational equity starts with how we address and move with the multitudes of trauma Black, Latinx, API, and Indigenous folks experience. In practice, this means addressing the harm, building and leveraging positive relationships, and enhancing the innate strengths of individuals and the communities they come from. How can students of color learn when trauma rooted in systems of oppression goes unchecked? My goal and hope is to help all of us map out how we can affirm and attempt to heal the harm being done so students of color can be in a place to learn.”


Rychelle McKenzie


Rychelle McKenzie is the Director of Alumni at COOP Careers.

“Surge is a unique opportunity for BIPOC leaders to connect and learn from each other. There’s nothing more powerful than collective action and Surge is a great place to build on that and make a huge impact on society.”


Bianca Lorenz Gonzalez


Bianca Lorenz Gonzalez is a College & Career Pathway Coach at Madison Park Academy / OUSD Linked Learning Office.

“Surge is an acceleration, a velocity change from the status quo. These changes are disruptions in common practices, but disruption can be revolutionary or it can be distracting. Both types of surges exist in our education infrastructure. The movement of the Surge Fellowship is responsible for harnessing the power of disruptive actors in the education system to elicit change rather than perpetuate the chaos. Angela Davis said ‘You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.’ As a Surge Fellow, I am committed to always working towards radical transformation in education.”


Aaron Harris

Aaron Harris is Dean of Instruction at Aspire Golden State Prep.

“Being a Surge fellow is important to me because I take the calling of an educator very seriously. I believe in visualizing a different future for myself and young people who look like me and doing the necessary and difficult work that will make those dreams a reality. I hope to constantly challenge established systems in order for a true revolution to occur. I hope to constantly challenge my colleagues and remind them that the data points we analyze represent whole human beings who enter our classrooms with their own valuable experiences. I hope to show Black and Brown students that they are always deserving of grace, no matter who may think otherwise.”


Jay Gash


Jay Gash is the Associate Director of Youth & Emerging Media Maker Programs & Creative Director of Youth Productions at Bay Area Video Coalition.

“As a creative media-maker and someone who has worked with and mentored youth and young adults for over 10 years, I understand the importance of seeing myself, a Black queer woman, and for others to see themselves represented in the media, technology, education and other multifaceted spheres. I am excited to be a part of the Surge movement because it will allow me to continue to develop my leadership skills and build intentional community with other Black and POC leaders. Now more than ever is the time to create change for a better tomorrow so I hope to come away from the program with the knowledge and tools necessary to design innovative, equitable, and accessible opportunities for historically under-resourced individuals.”


Zeyda Garcia


Zeyda Garcia is a Lead Counselor at  Lighthouse Community Public Schools.

“I’m a mental health professional in an education setting and want to normalize mental health in the education field. I feel that my passion for mental health and education can be supported by Surge as it will support me with the leadership skills necessary to bridge the gap with mental health in schools.”