Brandon Frame Interview
As long as there is a need and I am in a position to help fulfill it, I will do my part.
Brandon, Founder of The Black Man Can
Why is giving back important to you?
Shirley Chisholm said that “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.' I wholeheartedly believe in Chisholm’s words and that is why I’ve committed my life work to serving others and giving back. I never felt like my success academically or professionally was meant to propel me individually, I always felt convicted to use my success to advance others. I believe that I have a moral responsibility to give back, primarily because I am in a position to do so. As long as there is a need and I am in a position to help fulfill it, I will do my part.
How will you shift the culture through your philanthropic endeavors?
I desire to create a world where men and boys are so whole that we value ourselves and women completely—a world where we don’t let our brokenness break others and where we shine brightly and allow our light to heal others. Therefore, my philanthropic efforts have predominantly focused on education and holistic development for men and boys of color. I founded a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, TheBlackManCan, Inc., to shift the culture regarding the perception of Black men and boys’ power, purpose and possibilities. At TheBlackManCan, Inc. we are architects, constructing a framework for how the world views, interacts and embraces men and boys of color. Through a combination of digital storytelling and free educational programming, we have taken the Black male persona from a world of “you can’t do X, Y, or Z” to a world that truly sees and believes that Black men and boys are capable of accomplishing anything that we endeavor to achieve -- that we are excellent fathers, husbands, thought leaders and change agents.
What is the biggest myth about giving back and volunteering that needs to be debunked?
There is a myth that Black men do not show up for our people -- that we don’t give back or volunteer regularly. TheBlackManCan, Inc. has over 250 Black men in our network and they have given over 5,000 hours of service to black boys by becoming volunteer speakers, mentors and program coordinators at TheBlackManCan Institute
What is your organization’s biggest need and how can people support?
The biggest need that TheBlackManCan, Inc. has right now is financial support. We need more people to join our movement and help us celebrate, educate and inspire boys and men of color. We are on a mission to impact over 25,000 boys in the next academic year by extending TheBlackManCan Institute for boys to 15-20 new markets. People can best support this effort by donating $25 or more to our #raisingkingscampaign. Visit us at www.theblackmancan.org to give back today!
Continue the sentence... I give too because...
One of my favorite scholars and thought leaders, MK Asante, said, “When you make an observation you have an obligation.” My unique identity and experience allowed me to observe deficits in the education and development of Black men and boys. This, in turn, has shaped my philanthropy and my perception of where change leadership and humanitarian efforts are most needed. Since I care so deeply about the advancement of Black men and boys, I am obligated to lead the charge in giving back and I am responsible for creating or sustaining an institutional infrastructure that allows others to give back to this population that might otherwise continue to be marginalized when it comes to holistic development.