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Organization supports male educators of color

Profound Gentlemen
Posted at 12:54 PM, Jun 16, 2023

TULSA, Okla. — A new organization planting roots in Tulsa is supporting male educators of color. They’re launching a chapter of Profound Gentlemen to provide support and encouragement for this underrepresented group.

“This is going to be a target area in terms of how we want to grow and just provide the support that we can,” said Wayne N. Terrell Jr.

Wayne Terrell Jr. is the Senior Impact Director for Profound Gentlemen.

“A space that feels welcoming,” said Terrell Jr. “A space that feels supportive. A space that is open for any male educator of color to enter that space and feel that they can be who they are and as they are.”

Founded in Charlotte in 2014, the group is focused on developing male educators of color in their personal and professional lives so they can achieve their goals.

“Teaching is a family vocation,” said Isaiah Weaver. “My mom and dad and grandmother and grandfather on both sides were educators.”

Isaiah Weaver has been an educator in Tulsa for years. He says Profound Gentlemen could have a huge impact in our area creating a brotherhood out of a small group of men.

“When you have brothers on your left and your right linking arms, encouraging you, resourcing you, picking you up when you fall and congratulating you when you reach those goals, it’s a profound impact that it has on you,” said Weaver.

Profound Gentlemen says male educators of color make up only about 1.3% of the teaching population. They say it’s the reason this support network is so vital. At Crossover Preparatory Academy, Principal John Lepine can understand that need.

“Knowing that you’re not alone and knowing that you can have some other people who are right there with you who are encouraging you and you can process the experience and get skill development and growth with, I think that will make a big difference,” said John Lepine.

Lepine says teachers at Crossover Prep will likely be a part of the inaugural Tulsa cohort that will meet once a month. Tulsa teachers like Weaver say it’ll be good for the educators and also for the students.

“Students are able to have diverse persecutive when they are able to have diverse people to pull perspective from,” said Weaver. “When you’re able to pull from the strengths of other communities and other perspectives, it strengthens you as a person but also strengthens your community.”

Profound Gentlemen is now in more than 20 cities across the country and they plan to continue to expand. They also host a yearly professional development conference called the Community Impact Assembly.

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