Only 2 percent of teachers in the United States are black men. For Mario Jovan Shaw, co-founder of Profound Gentlemen, an organization aimed at empowering male teachers of color, this is a statistic they are working to change. “They can’t be what they can’t see,” Shaw told Yahoo Life, “So if black boys grow up and can’t see black male teachers, you don’t think you can become one. Shaw grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and had a few black male teachers. But many of them, he says, never contacted him, or lacked the ability to appear as their original selves. I discovered the truth, that there were only 2 percent of black male teachers nationwide, and I started working with students and we started having conversational interactions and we started talking about why male teachers are so important to males.” In 2015, Shaw and fellow teacher Jason Terrell co-founded Defend Gentlemen, a community of about 150 male teachers across the country. He says their mission is to enhance leadership skills through social and emotional learning and mindfulness and to support men during their journeys as educators. Overall, the organization offers programs focused on character development, content development and community impact, and cohorts meet in person in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Memphis.