Profound Gentlemen

Charlotte, NC



Male educators of color account for less than 2% of the U.S. public school teacher population and leave the teaching profession at a rate of 5x faster.


Last year, 98% of the male educators of color in the Profound Gentlemen network returned back into the field of education.


Profound Gentlemen improves low retention for male educators of color through direct peer mentorship, professional development, and community gatherings for male educators of color, all centered on social emotional learning for adults.

Research has shown having men of color as role models and mentors greatly improves the social, emotional, and academic progress of all students, especially boys of color. However, boys of color are rarely exposed to men of color in the classroom.

Mario Jovan Shaw and Jason Terrell, the founders of Profound Gentlemen, saw this first hand as middle school teachers in Charlotte. “Relationships between male teachers of color and boys are so important,” said Terrell. “Each day, a young man named Jaylen came into my classroom to talk and share. Meanwhile, in my first year, I sought the mentorship of a veteran male teacher of color who helped me understand my purpose in education. Profound Gentlemen creates this environment where more male teachers of color have that critical mentor and can, in turn, impact boys of color.”

After launching Profound Gentlemen in 2014, Shaw and Terrell each received the prestigious Echoing Green fellowship that recognizes and supports social entrepreneurs globally.

To become connected to PG, male teachers of color join on the PG website and are placed in small cohorts with a mentor. PG members set an Impact Professional Development Plan and have one-on-one coaching and resources to achieve their goals. 70% of the more than 330 Profound Gentlemen educators reported using resources provided from Profound Gentlemen in their practice.

PG has local programming in seven cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Memphis, Boston, LA, and Washington, DC, and has a special emphasis on connecting educators in the same feeder school pipeline in these cities.

Now in their seventh year, PG's leadership team aims to continue to support the social emotional needs of gentlemen.

Since 2016, The Belk Foundation has invested $415,000 in Profound Gentlemen.