Profound Gentlemen, an organization dedicated to retaining male teachers of color, recently hosted its 2nd Annual Community Impact Assembly in Charlotte, NC. The Community Impact Assembly (CIA) is an event that attracts over 100 male educators of color from all over the country to come together to share ideas in “creating extraordinary outcomes for boys of color” through site visits, workshops, sessions, and community engagement. The Civic and Community Engagement Award was awarded to Jarrett Brock, who was interviewed about his experiences at this year’s CIA and how it has impacted him as an educator.
What is your job title?
I am a School Recruitment Program Manager in Chicago, IL.
Was this your first time attending CIA?
No, this is my second time attending. I must say CIA consisted of two well planned out days of sessions. I participated as a facilitator in one of the Roundtables in which educators received support for problems they wanted to address. I gave advice to another educator who wanted information about recruitment and getting more teachers involved.
What was your favorite session?
There were multiple events that I enjoyed. Friday consisted of multiple breakout sessions where educators and professionals from other facets came together to help participants with issues they have in the classroom. This was an event that we did not have the previous year, which I feel was very informative and impactful. It is awesome to be able to hear other educators talk and to lend my ear and pick up things from others at the table who shared their experiences. That evening we had community dinners, where different dinners were set up throughout the city with partners of Profound Gentlemen. Each dinner consisted of an impact leader and a few members from Profound Gentlemen where they get to learn about their organization and the city depending on who the organizer was for that particular dinner. For many of the attendees, this was their first time in Charlotte, so they get to see and get a taste of the city outside of the conference.
What is an important lesson that you were able to take away from CIA?
A session that really hit home for me was called “Earning Your Seat at the Table.” I thought it was something that every male educator needs to hear because it was a conversation about what we need to do as educators to make sure our voice is heard. Also, to make sure that we are respected not only in the classroom but within the organization. Such as providing some proper guidance and tools to take you to the next level whether it is to become a dean, principal, or move to the next level as a teacher. This was a session where anyone could relate no matter where they were in their professional careers.
Why do you feel CIA is important?
I feel that CIA is impactful, especially with the breakout sessions and the speakers that we had throughout the day on Saturday. CIA is important because although we only account for a small percentage of educators, we are definitely a powerful and impactful group. It is amazing to see educators from 13 different states and different areas of education come together. It is encouraging to know that you are not the only one fighting the good fight and doing this work. This is an event that needs to continue, and I can see it potentially growing to other cities. I am excited for next year and getting more male educators involved and participating.
(c) Ashely Robinson
Ashely Robinson is currently pursuing her B.A. in Political Science and Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is the civic engagement intern for Profound Gentlemen, which will be hosting its 2018 Community Impact Assembly on March 9-11, 2018. Until then, Profound Gentlemen will continue to offer its bi-monthly professional development, quarterly convenings, and multiple networking events throughout the year to grow male educators of color’s purpose, potential, and impact in the profession.