Written by By Christine Edwards
According to this Charlotte Region report on Suburbanizing, Densifying, Diversifying, the African American population in the region has grown by 26% since 2010, driven largely by migration from larger northeastern cities as part of what demographers have termed a Reverse Great Migration to the South. While Charlotte is becoming increasingly diverse, minorities often do not have the same experiences due to racial injustices. That is why throughout August, which is Black Philanthropy Month and here locally #BPM2020CLT, we are highlighting Black-led nonprofits to share their stories and inspire you to donate and to drive change in our own community
We recently caught up with Founder of Cops and Barbers, Inc. and Owner of Da Lucky Spot Barber Shop, Shaun “Lucky” Corbett. Cops and Barbers is essentially a nonprofit scholarship program with a barber school at its core. First of its kind in Charlotte and in the country, they’ve been featured on national stages, including the White House. We asked Shaun what his organization is doing in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic and restoring a sense of normalcy in this time of uncertainty.
Cops and Barbers Barber College during Covid-19:
For the current barber school program, he partnered with No Grease Barber School and offered tuition relief in addition to nineteen scholarships to young people who may have been displaced. While some students are on financial aid, others are not and when students were told to leave campus in March, they wanted to provide a solution for them. They gathered what they could from their generous donors to offer the scholarships and tuition relief. When he graduated from No Grease Barber School in 2006, one of the main things Corbett learned was the importance of giving back. They also run the CNB Leadership Academy where they work with high schools providing barber school scholarships and connecting them to resources.
What is the Cops and Barbers Foundation?
After the Mike Brown Shooting, Cops and Barbers was started as an opportunity to bridge the gap between the Police and community they serve. Corbett recognized that there were many organizations doing the work to resolve social injustices and smooth relationships with police and the community. Cadets in the CMPD leadership academy are partnered with barber students to go through the process together. This method of collaborative leadership and mentorship was even featured in President Obama’s 21st Century Policing initiative rolled out in 2014.
How are you addressing the issues of those most in need right now?
They help by aiding the other organizations with helping the homeless and providing what is needed. Cops and Barbers regularly donate funding for meals and helping agencies provide groceries for families. Over the past 8 years, they have presented at town halls and speaking events about economic mobility issues in Charlotte and learned that the same problems we see here are the same places like Cincinnati and Minneapolis. Their awareness of these issues inspires them to give freely. They fund meals and support the local grassroots non profit networks and they provide free haircuts and vouchers for people in need.
What do you say to people struggling to make it right now?
Corbett says for those struggling at home, you have to have some spiritual foundation with these uncertain times. We cannot make it without some spiritual center. The principles of being righteous include taking care of family, helping your brother, and treating people the way you want to be treated, and taking care of your children. For those struggling to keep their business open, he advises that small business owners take a look at their businesses and work to become prepared to receive funding.
Here’s how you can support Cops and Barbers:
You can donate on the website at http://copsandbarbersworldwide.com/.
Visit No Grease Barber School where Cops and Barbers students are currently studying at 3120 Wilkinson Blvd Charlotte, NC 28208
To learn more, visit: https://youtu.be/vEgtyqnrF4w
VOTE NOW: Cops and Barbers is in the running to win $5K this month thanks to the Amy and Brian France Foundation who have partnered with SHARE Charlotte for this year’s Spotlight Series and YOU can help when you VOTE NOW! You can also check out the other organizations eligible to win this month’s prize, here!