Fearless Friday: Our Founding Insurgents

Two years ago, four amazing women huddled together brainstorming the best way to popularize justice by making it applicable to college students and within hours Surge was born. Thier vision, humor, and amazing fearless spirits have enabled hundreds of individuals to write over 200 blog posts which collectively have been viewed almost 180,000 times.

As we celebrate our second anniversary, we celebrate Surge’s founders and celebrate how their fearlessness and commitment to social justice continue to impact the world.

As a former Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major at Gettysburg, Elle Rupert ‘13 is a Community Programs Coordinator at an all-boys Catholic high school outside of Boston, where she puts on campus-wide events and works with parent engagement. Elle recently finished her Masters of Education in Community Engagement, during which she wrote a thesis on implementing effective social justice curriculum in the K-12 environment.

She has started multiple initiatives: A women’s affinity group called Women’s Initiatives in Leadership & Learning for the female-identified faculty and staff at the school, a discussion group called The Locker Room in which students discuss gender, sexism, and feminism, and Gender Justice Week which is dedicated to consciousness-raising and action surrounding gender-related topics. Next year, she will be teaching the school’s Race and Gender class, an elective course for juniors and seniors.

Graduating with a major in sociology and minor in peace and justice studies, Emily Lindholm ’13 is applying what she studied at Gettysburg as the Program Manager of Call for Justice, LLC, a small nonprofit organization in Minneapolis that works to connect low- and moderate-income people with civil legal resources. Quite often the needs that nonprofits are trying to address, such as hunger, homelessness, or women’s empowerment, are jeopardized by the extreme pressure and cost of legal problems. Emily is working to change that!

Outside of work, Emily continues to publicize social justice by talking to others, whether it is her roommate, her coworkers, her significant other, or her mother. She still believes it is important to volunteer at least once a month or donate monthly to causes that have particularly affected her, to be consciously matching her actions with her words.

Hannah Frantz ’13 is currently a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Armenia where she teaches English at a school and will be starting a few clubs in the upcoming months. She is about to do a 21 day hike through Armenia to promote healthy living called Border2Border. She’ll be walking half the length of the country and teaching lessons at schools in villages related to the “Healthy Body Healthy Mind” theme.

Not entirely unlike Surge, Hannah has helped coordinate a creative writing competition for Armenian students and professional called Write On! to encourage people to think and express themselves freely and creatively. She continues to publicize social justice by focusing on educating others to inspire social justice in their communities and tries to incorporate social justice into her lesson plans and the cross-cultural education for her students.

Laura Koenig ’13 is working at a non-profit called Together in Omaha, Nebraska doing case management with homeless veterans. The program works to help veterans in finding housing and then assisting them to become more stable in their housing so that they do not become homeless again.

Laura states that she has not lost hope that she can make an impact and change the structural issues that exist to promote inequalities in this country. Like the other founders, Laura tries to incorporate social justice in her daily life by continually having those difficult conversations, challenging people when they make comments that are biased and trying to think about her own privilege every day.