This is a great article from Fatherhood.gov on the power of the barbershop as a community institution.
May 29, 2014
The simplest tasks in life, many times, have the power to connect us with others and affect us the most. For example, finding more healthy affordable food options on a simple trip to the local grocery store can change your family’s diet for years to come.
If you’re a Dad, one of those simple yet powerful tasks is the trip to the barbershop. Whether you call it “getting your ears trimmed” or “getting a line up,” the simple experience of visiting this community institution can have a powerful and positive impact on your life.
Barbers Using Their Power Positively
When Dads, sons, and families visit the barbershop there’s always a lot of “buzz” going on. From chatter about the latest sports events to recaps about recent news, jobs, or other community happenings, barbershops have always been where communities have powerful conversations. This makes the role of barber and shop owner a very powerful one in communities.
Today, many local barbers like Rodney James and Anthony Hayden are using this conversation opportunity and power of a barbershop to change their communities for the better.
James and Hayden have turned a local barbershop Lexington, Kentucky, into more than a place to get a trim. In 2008 they founded the Lexington Academy for Barbers (L.A.B.). In addition to serving the local community as a barbershop and barbering school, L.A.B is also a 501c(3) organization that facilities a workforce reentry program for people in the community.
A recent article in the KEY Newsjournal celebrated the accomplishments of L.A.B.: “They have sacrificed payment from those who could not pay full tuition, and created an environment that allowed students to thrive and overcome any obstacle, including reentering society after incarceration.”
The L.A.B. is just one example of how a barbershop can change the community. In addition to his work at L.A.B., James also runs the Idle Hour Barber Shop in Lexington, which regularly participates in NRFC’s Fatherhood Buzz. Fatherhood Buzz is a nationwide forum that helps communities by turning community centers and barbershops into a place to discuss important community issues like men’s health, employment, and education and share valuable information that help Dads and families. A few Saturdays out of the year, L.A.B., Idle Hour, and other Fatherhood Buzz community centers and barbershops across the country have used their networking power to change communities.
Promote Positive Change in Your Community: Bring Fatherhood Buzz to Your Area on Father’s Day, June 14.
The NRFC’s Fatherhood Buzz efforts are open to community centers and barbershops across the country. If you would like to bring Fatherhood Buzz to your area, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you and your community can benefit from celebrating fathers this Father’s Day weekend by partnering with Fatherhood Buzz and the NRFC.
Whether you are a Dad, a barber, or just a concerned community member, we want you to know that you and your local barbershops have the power to positively change your communities just like L.A.B. and Idle Hour. We hope that you will join us in celebrating Dads and bettering communities this Father’s Day weekend.
In addition, if you know of a great barbershop or community center creating positive change through helping Dads, please email us, tweet us, or visit our Facebook page to let us know.
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
Read More about this initiative at