BE Modern Man is an integrative program that honors the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With features of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men share the common thread of creating a new normal while setting the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is making a positive impact, his way, and has a story to tell.
BE Modern Man Charles S. Corprew, III
Profession: Developmental Psychologist, Founder and President of What’s Your Revolution? Consulting, Radio Host, the “What’s Your Revolution?” show
One Word That Describes You: Revolutionary
What does being one of the BE Modern Man 100 Honorees mean to you?
I am grateful and honored for this recognition. It is humbling to know that at some point somewhere in the world I touched someone’s life so much that they felt moved to nominate me for this great honor.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
For most of my adult life, I have centered my work on helping boys and men of color find successful pathways. Currently, my work focuses on motivating men to find and embrace the healthiest version of themselves. I achieve this through my weekly radio show and podcast, “What’s Your Revolution? with Dr. Charles Corprew.” I use this platform to dialogue with men from all walks of life about their challenges and successes as they journey to achieve their definition of being healthy mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. The purpose of the show is to provide a resource for men who may be looking for relevant content to help them along their path.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I moved to New Orleans on Aug. 21, 2005, a little over a week before one of the worst natural events in our country, to begin my doctoral work at Tulane University. After the storm hit, I was forced to move back to Virginia. I questioned whether I should return to the city. I pondered whether I should pursue my dream of becoming Dr. Corprew or go back to teaching where things were comfortable. I decided to return to New Orleans and be a part of its revolution. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. So many doors have been opened for me here in the Crescent City. It has been the most rewarding training ground, and it has allowed me to develop relationships that nourish the entirety of my life.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact”?
I ask people the biggest and most thought-provoking question of their life: “What’s Your Revolution?” It is my life’s mission to help people—and especially men of color—find, articulate, and embrace the answer to this question so that we may have a world filled with people fulfilling not only their personal revolution, but also inciting and inspiring a global transformation.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Honesty and Integrity. I ask everyone that I meet the most thought-provoking question of their life: “What’s Your Revolution?” My answer to this question is to be honest to a fault. For too long, I bent the truth to satisfy my needs, especially when it came to my relationships with women. This lack of truth created a chaotic life. At the end of my last relationship, I realized this wasn’t the life I wanted to lead. Telling the truth is not an easy endeavor, and in my opinion, men are not socialized to tell the truth. Thus, no matter how hard it feels coming out, I tell it the way it should be. I expect the same of others.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
The “What’s Your Revolution?” Project is geared toward providing men of color the tools they need to overcome the obstacles they may face that hinder their ability to be the healthiest version of themselves. This project consists of a weekly podcast, a monthly mastermind with like- and diverse-minded men, and a fee-based retreat where men from all over the country can come to New Orleans to jump-start their personal and global revolution. The latter piece is currently in beta testing.
What is the best advice you ever received?
My father, like myself, is a Man of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. One of our four cardinal principles is perseverance. My father would always tell me, especially while I was pursuing my doctoral degree, to persevere. He would say, “You are farther along than you started and closer than you think. Keep marching forward, my son.” Not to be left out, my mother’s best advice has always been, “Pray.”
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Think critically about how you would answer the question, “What’s Your Revolution?”
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I am fortunate to be able to speak to diverse audiences around the country. One would think that because I do this regularly, I would not get nervous, but I do. One technique I use to help me is to visualize the event, the audience, and the message I want to get across.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
One of the best vacations in my life was a trip to Sedona, Arizona, last year. I love to kayak and hike and Sedona’s Red Rocks are the perfect place to get out in nature and explore, allowing you to move past your comfort zone to gain a new clarity on life. I spent four days there along with a trek to the Grand Canyon, which is one of the most majestic scenes in the world. It was the most peaceful, yet adventurous vacation I have experienced.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
There are several places I would like to go. Iceland is No. 1 on my list, followed by South Africa, Morocco, Thailand, Costa Rica, and Mexico City. Iceland offers a sense of peace, something the daily grind of U.S. life strips away, particularly as a Black man. I want to find serenity in the crispness of the Icelandic air and soothing pull of its natural baths and welcoming people.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I am grateful to Charles and Bertha Corprew for giving me life and then ensuring that every day of this life I have felt the love and compassion I need to make it through each day not just surviving, but thriving. I am grateful to the men and women who stand up for me every day, those who chose to love me regardless of my flaws.
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 2nd Annual Black Men XCEL, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.