Academy to develop, elevate leaders of color in education

A six-month program that has the mission of “developing, elevating and uniting emerging education leaders of color” is coming to Indianapolis.

The Surge Academy, designed by the Chicago-based not-for-profit Surge Institute, got its start in Kansas City last year. Its entry into Indianapolis is being made possible through a partnership with The Mind Trust, an education-focused not-for-profit organization that has supported the launch of 29 charter schools in Indianapolis.

The Surge Academy was established to develop and elevate leaders of color through fellowship experiences and teaching executive skills such as finance, strategic planning and change management.

Twelve to 20 people will be chosen to participate in the first academy’s first Indianapolis class. Participants will be announced in August, with programming expected to start in the fall.

Applications for the Indianapolis cohort will open April 17, but a referral form is currently available on the academy’s web site.

The Surge Academy first class in Kansas City brought together 11 African-American and Latino emerging leaders to explore how to transform education to best serve children and communities. Now, another cohort of 17 in Kansas City is participating in the program.

“Indianapolis education leaders of color want and deserve access to excellent executive leadership development and a strong, authentic community where they can find support from others who share their same lived experience,” Patrick Jones, senior director of school incubation at The Mind Trust, said in written comments. “Surge Academy offers a space for leaders of color to fully acknowledge their cultural identity, build each other up professionally, and join a national network of change-makers.”

Surge Institute Founder and President Carmita Semaan said the expansion into Indianapolis is the next step in serving youth and communities of color who “deserve authentic and dynamic education leaders.”

Interested individuals can join one of two virtual “#SurgeCircle Chats” with Semaan on April 14 or April 24.

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