Saving the lives of African-American boys and men requires providing them with role models whose behavior habits represent the traits necessary to lead morally successful and honest lives. Role models for young African-American men are not hard to find. These three young African-American leaders in education, business, and religion are committed to being role models for the community and expanding the image of black male leadership. They may not be household names but through their efforts they are transforming the lives of young African-American men throughout the country. These men use their subject-matter expertise to provide life lessons for young men in need of assistance. Their commitment to service is a critical asset in saving the lives of young African-American boys and men.
1. Brandon Frame, 25, founder and chief visionary officer of BlackManCan.org
Brandon Frame grew up in Hartford, Connecticut and graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He currently serves as director of business partnerships and program development for Hartford’s High School, Inc. program. He has developed programs like The Connections Tutoring and Mentoring Program, Executive Luncheons Series, and the Global Business Excursion which places young black male scholars in positive scenarios designed to introduce them to corporate America. He is the author of Define Yourself, Redefine The World: A Guided Journal for Black Boys and Men, which according to a review on Amazon “explores topics related to education, spirituality, purpose, passion, career, leadership, culture, and fatherhood, all of which are vital concepts for your development.” Frame began his career teaching English at the Fessenden School, but really found his passion for mentoring young black men when he created BlackManCan.org. The website is dedicated to promoting the black man in a positive light. It provides life lessons on everything from grooming and dressing for success to profiles of other black male and female role models. The Grio.com wrote, “The website features many topics about the life of a black man including celebrations of healthy marriages, successful college students, writing from bloggers about black men and boys, and even style tips from well-dressed business people.” In describing his mission, Frame told beforeitsnews.com, “I have the opportunity to share a message that uplifts, empowers and inspires!” Frame’s grooming advice is targeted directly at the culture of sagging jeans and sneakers passing for “proper attire.” He has started a line of neck and bow ties that he has linked to his mentorship program and made part of his moving-up ceremony in the Black Man Can initiative.
Bernard Frame’s NBC Interview with Tracie Strahan of Positively Black:
Bernard Frame discussing the High School, Inc. program in an interview with the Urban Institute:
2. Dr. Gregory Ellison, 36, theologian and founder of Fearless Dialogues
Dr. Ellison is an assistant professor in the theology faculty of Emory’s Candler School of Theology. He has launched a national grassroots movement to empower young black men. The Fearless Dialogues Community Empowerment Tour website describes it as a “grassroots approach to long-term change that draws upon the gifts of local community leaders and a team of expert consultants in areas such as education, law, healthcare, science and technology, and the arts.” With his Fearless Dialogue team, Ellison helps local community leaders develop and implement strategic plans to address the most pertinent issues identified by the local leaders. Ellison holds a bachelor's degree from Emory University and a master of divinity degree and Ph.D. in pastoral theology from Princeton. He was the first African-American male to be inducted into the Emory College Hall of Fame. The five-city tour will feature Ellison and three dozen consultants drawn from all areas of expertise committed to having frank, honest, and heartfelt conversations about conditions in the black community. Ellison told The Grio.com, “There is nothing like this that supports this type of conversation with thought leaders in the community.” Ellison is also the author of Cut Dead but Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men. Ellison’s book is a humanitarian-based action plan for addressing the disenfranchisement and marginalization of young black men. Wayne Miesel of The Huffington Post wrote Ellison’s book “must be required reading for seminarians, pastors or community leader who want to bring their pastoral care to our most challenged populations.” Ellison told The Grio.com that the goal of his work is “to have candid conversations about how we can see, hear, and change the way we interact with young African-American males in our communities.”
Dr. Ellison on “Learning to Notice Marginalized Teen-Agers”:
Dr. Ellison talks about his book Cut Dead, But Still Alive:
3. Roderick Hardamon, 37, North America head for Citi Alternative Investment Services
Hardamon is a product of Detroit, Michigan, where he continues to do local mentoring and support. He is a graduate of Morehouse University and currently manages a $250 billion asset investment portfolio. As a product of the inner city and a historically black college, Hardamon reaches back to provide a guiding hand to young African-Americans. He has been instrumental in targeting outstanding diversity internship candidates from other HBCU schools like Morehouse College, Spelman College, Howard University, and Hampton University. In an interview with Diversity Journal, Hardamon made clear the importance of giving back to the African-American community. He said, “It is critical that each of us take a role in supporting and uplifting the communities we come from.” In the interview Hardamon noted that he “volunteers with a local Cub Scout Pack in Detroit, Michigan and spends time mentoring students and professionals of all ages.” Hardamon is the author of Trying to Get There: Navigating Your Success, in which he uses his urban background and his global perspective to provide one-to-one advice on how to succeed in life and business. In an interview with the Council of Urban Professionals, Hardamon said the best advice he can give to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact is to “ensure that everything you do, from the way you perform on your job to how you dress, is consistent with the personal brand.” Hardamon says your personal brand should “reflect who you are at your core and what you bring to the table: hard work, integrity, candor, good judgment, tenacity, compassion, etc.” Hardamon was recently one of the keynote speakers at the “Changing the Face of Philanthropy Summit." The summit was designed to change society’s perception of black men and highlight diversity in the culture of black leadership.