Name: Brandon Maurice Frame
One Word That Describes You: Innovative
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
It is a true blessing to be recognized as a Black Enterprise Modern Man. I give all the glory to God. It serves as a reminder to continue to do the work in communities across the country and pursue excellence with impeccable effort.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
I’m the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of TheBlackManCan Inc., a nonprofit focused on celebrating, educating, and inspiring boys and men of color. TheBlackManCan started as a blog in April of 2010 and has grown into an award-winning nonprofit that has impacted boys and men of color and society as whole. We have impacted over 5,000 young men through TheBlackManCan Institute and have generated millions of impressions through digital media. I also have the honor and pleasure of serving as the Director of Business Partnerships and Development at High School Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut. In that role, I have prepared and placed young men in corporate internships.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
We all turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones each and every day. The example I would like to share is overcoming depression. As young boys growing up we are often told to man up, boys don’t cry. As we grow into men that turns into suffering in silence about things that matter most to us or problems that we are dealing with inside. It is because we don’t allow a space for vulnerability, healing, accountability that it can all come to head. We end up thinking we are on an island all by ourselves. I can vividly remember that feeling and it almost lead to me taking my own life. It is important that we know, especially as black men, that you can see a therapist and pray at the same time. While I spent time in a very low place I was able to climb out with support and reach the mountaintop again to find my joy and walk in the ordered steps God has planned for me.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
TheBlackManCan Inc. has over 350 MENtors in our network; 5,000 young men have attended TheBlackManCan Institue since the launch in March 2013; Over 150,000 people follow TheBlackManCan via social media channels; 75+ High School Inc. students have traveled to Europe to see and understand global business; and 150+ High School Inc. students have completed corporate internships. God has been so good to me and I’m thankful that he gives me the opportunity and ideas to make a difference as well as the tools to execute them efficiently to create extraordinary impact.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
An important quality I look for in my relationship with others is authenticity. In the world today you can find a lot of pretending and a lack of substance. Authenticity allows for you to enjoy deeper, richer connections.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
TheBlackManCan Man Cave is our newest platform that we are launching in September in Miami at the Activiate Conference. We are in the process of redesigning the blog and will be releasing amazing content in the 4th quarter and all throughout 2018. We are preparing to launch our fundraising campaign. Our goal is to get 5,000 people to donate $25 to our work. It costs $25 for a young man to attend our programming and by getting 5,000 donors we can impact 5,000 young men in 2018. Also I’m working on two books, which I have slated for a potential 2018 release.
What is the best advice you ever received?
I will say the best advice that I have ever received are words by one of my favorite scholars, M.K. Asante. He said, “Once you make an observation, you have an obligation.” I have carried these words with me and they have serve as a guide as I navigate this beautiful thing called life.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
My advice would be find your way that you would like to give back. It can be mentoring, it can be donating to an organization doing the work in area you are passionate about, it can be sitting on a board of a nonprofit organization and lending your expertise and time. All of these ways are important and impactful.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
If I’m presenting I will practice a few times. There are also times where I will practice in front of my students to get feedback. Young people are always very honest with you, and I’ve found that using them to prepare has helped me significantly and it allows for me to be a role model to them.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
I actually need to look into taking a real vacation. I’ve believe in the mantra “Create the life you don’t need a vacation from.” However, I have done several weekend trips to Europe. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in one weekend. I have seen Rome, Paris, and Venice on different occasions. I really enjoy taking in other cultures and on most vacations I try and spend most of my time amongst the people.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
There are so many places I would like to visit so I’m going to go with Bora Bora so that if I get asked the previous question again I have an amazing answer and I can talk about staying in an over the water bungalow.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Don’t let the internet rush you. Many of us have heard faith without work is dead and/or comparison is the thief of joy; however those who said these words did not live in the age of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. We can get caught up in instant gratification. We can get caught up in questioning when are blessings are going to come, if they will ever come. You cannot let what you see others posting distract or hold you back from walking in your ordered steps. God has a plan and all you have to do is the work each and every day because all the small wins will lead to the glory that God has already promised you.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.