The educational initiative SURGE (Sons Uniting, Realizing Goals of Excellence) was the brainchild of Marcus Gaskins, a youth basketball coach, community leader, and co-owner of a barbershop in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. The goal of the program is to provide a support network for young boys of color during the academic year, one that they can utilize as they navigate a world where they are often viewed with hostility because of the color of their skin.
Gaskins pairs up the young African American boys with men of color at Haverford College. Maurice Rippel, a rising senior at Haverford has been involved with the SURGE program since its founding. He said that “I thought SURGE was a great idea. As a college and campus culture, we’ve gotten this mindset that we should go into Philadelphia or other parts of the world and ethically engage and support communities, but where is our involvement in the one right next door?”
“SURGE is about understanding how the world may see men of color,” Rippel continued, “But also about finding a personalized vision of the activist, scholar, philanthropist, or community leader you can become. We have privilege as men of color in undergraduate institutions and need to share it with our younger brothers.”