Who we are
To date, over 500 male current and emerging male educators of color across the country have joined the Profound Gentlemen network to gain access to coaching, personal and professional development, and a supportive peer community. These resources enable our gentlemen to overcome challenges within the Education profession and to develop into impactful leaders for the communities they serve.
Profound Gentlemen was founded in 2014 by two Charlotte Mecklenburg (CMS) educators, Jason Terrell and Mario Shaw. Both Jason and Mario began their teaching career intimately believing that all students should constantly see positive examples of success. They also shared common challenges being a male educator of color without peers of a similar background to look to for support. Jason and Mario created Profound Gentlemen as a space to have conversations about educational equity, student achievement, and shared experiences of being one of the few men of color in their schools. They began to invite their peers, who they refer to as “Gentlemen”, and hosted monthly meetups for the teachers across Charlotte.
According to data from Dr. Chance Lewis from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, men of color leave the classroom 5x higher than any other demographic for four core reasons; lack of mentorship, lack of professional development, minimum career opportunities, and barriers to navigate the profession (Lewis & Toldson, 2013). In order to address high attrition rates for male educators of color, research suggests that men of color need target interventions that support their growth and tenure in the education profession.
Since its founding, PG’s has evolved from informal meetups into a robust research-based model that utilizes coaching, peer-networks, and development opportunities to effectively address specific barriers faced by male educators of color to retain them within the education field. A three-year impact evaluation by Dr. Chance Lewis reported that PG’s program is effective in keeping male educators of color in the profession. Over the three years, 95% of all educators supported by PG remained in the education profession- a rate 35% higher than the national retention rate for beginning teachers.
How we work
Profound Gentlemen utilizes targeted intervention to develop and retain male educators of color. Current male educators of color who teach in Charlotte become members of Profound Gentlemen by applying through their school, partner organizations, or online. Educators receive a professional growth plan and are placed in a collaborative cohort with other peer educators to build a stronger community of practice.
Educators receive at least 20 hours of one-on-one coaching, build community within their cohort, participate and lead in education retreats and virtual workshops based on their career paths, and attend conferences tailored to the needs identified in their professional growth plan.
Each workshop, retreat, and conference delves into the following focus areas:
1. Character Development: The development of personal goals and identity
2. Content Development: Pedagogical development for effective, research-based teaching
3. Continuous Leadership: Accessing leadership pathways for male educators of color
Profound Gentlemen is increasing the opportunity for students, especially young men in high poverty schools, to be taught by an educator who affirms their identity, provides a culturally affirming environment, and serves as a mirror of success and opportunity.