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Back to school with Profound Gentlemen

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  • Profound Gentlemen is hosting a series of back-to-school events to welcome gentlemen into the new school year. @PGeducator
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Now that summer break is over for schools across North Carolina, Profound Gentlemen is welcoming back educators for the start of the 2023-24 academic year. Here are a few hopes for the school year from their back-to-school community cohort event in Charlotte. 

Rising to the occasion 

Profound Gentlemen (PG) is a nonprofit that supports male educators of color. Though founded in North Carolina, the organization focuses on retention by offering 1:1 coaching, professional development, and networking for their “gentlemen” across the United States. 

According to their 2022-2023 Impact Report, there were over 800 educators part of the organization. Profound Gentlemen serves Beginning Educators (0-3 years), Developing Educators (4-6 years), and Profound Educators (7+ years). With at least one highly skilled gentleman in 37 states, PG estimates that at least 12,600 students are being taught by a male of color through their network.

Wayne Terrell, impact director for Profound Gentlemen, toasts with apple juice at the Back-to-School event. Derick Lee/EducationNC

PG’s theme for the past academic year was “(Re)grounding,” being intentional about aligning their purpose, values, and mission. This year, the theme is “RISE.”

“We’re trying to expand and really rise to the occasion for our male educators of color,” Wayne Terrell, impact director, shared. Furthermore, PG wants to ensure that their partnered schools and organizations have the tools to support their gentlemen as well. 

Hopes for the school year 

When speaking on their hopes for the new school year, a few staff members and gentlemen had the following to offer.

Jamir Barnes is an 8th grade English language arts teacher at Ranson Middle School in Charlotte. As he prepares to enter his second year of teaching, Barnes is hopeful for growth, greatness inside and outside of the classroom, and is looking to continue learning the profession. 

Johnnie Moultrie, an educator at Movement School Freedom Elementary in Charlotte, is transitioning into the new year with an even better and growing mindset, honing in on the power that he has as an educator. As the 1st grade lead teacher at his school, he is looking forward to the “new.” He states that he wants to be intentional with his opportunity to impact adults and new students. Because of the happiness that he has found, Moultrie wants to continue to share it, bringing other Black males into education.

Deondray “Dray” Love is a new impact leader with Profound Gentleman. Additionally, he is a program manager for the Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship, a program that trains 18-24 year-old men of color to support K-5 students with literacy. This academic year, he hopes to network and connect with like-minded individuals. Moreover, Love is looking to help change the narrative regarding education being a viable career for men of color.

Upcoming events

The Profound Gentlemen’s Piedmont-Triad back-to-school event is September 15, 2023. Male educators of color who are interested may register here.

“Soirée: The Renaissance” is October 20, 2023 at the Harvey B Gantt Center in Charlotte. Registration opens September 1, 2023. 

Derick Lee

Derick Lee is a regional storyteller for EdNC.