Mario Jovan Shaw and Jason Terrell met through Teach For America in Charlotte in 2012. Shaw came from Ohio, Terrell from Georgia. They both noticed the same thing — there weren’t a lot of black male teachers at Charlotte schools. For some kids, Shaw and Terrell were the first black male teachers they’d ever had.

Two years later, the pair started Profound Gentlemen, which aims to support and retain male teachers of color, and also mentor young boys of color. And earlier this month, they were named to Forbes’ 2017 30 Under 30 list for their work.

Shaw and Terrell joined the CharlotteFive Podcast this week to talk about Profound Gentlemen and what it was like to get named to Forbes’ list.

The reason it’s important for there to be more black male teachers is so that “more young boys can actually see positive images,” Shaw said. It’s important “for them to be able to talk to someone about living in America as a black male or as a Latino male. What does that mean? How do I prepare myself? Can I go to college? Thinking about different career options. That’s why it’s so important.”

Profound Gentlemen, which works with educators in cities around the country, strives to retain 90 percent of the male educators of color in its network. Shaw and Terrell shared with us exactly how they try to do that and what they have planned for the future. They also explained the process that led to them being put on this year’s 30 Under 30 list and what it means for them going forward.

Learn more about Profound Gentlemen and find out how to get involved at

Other things discussed on this week’s podcast:

– The 2016 CharlotteFive Awards winners.
– Why we wish people would stop writing columns about how awful Millennials are.
– What you should be doing this weekend.
– Dog fashion shows.
– Dogs not being allowed inside brewery taprooms anymore.

The CharlotteFive Podcast — presented by The Charlotte Observer and powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly podcast that aims to get you Charlotte Smart, Fast with fun, interesting and useful news about the city. It’s hosted by Corey Inscoe and Sarah Crosland, and produced by Richard Brooke.

You can find The CharlotteFive Podcast on SoundcloudiTunesGoogle Play and Stitcher. You can follow us on Twitter @Charlotte_Five, on Instagram @cltfive, and on Facebook, and you can shoot us an email to

Photo: Courtesy of Profound Gentlemen