Empowering Black men focus of barbershop competition

Up to three finalists will compete in the challenge by developing community engagement programming for adults and youth

Community-focused barbershops in the Detroit area can compete for a $10,000 grant as part of program designed to educate and empower African American men.

Applications are being accepted through Aug. 9 from state-certified barbershop owners for the Ford Men of Courage Barbershop Challenge.

Barbershop owners are asked to submit innovative community proposals designed to stimulate positive social economic mobility in their community. Up to three finalists will compete over a six-month period by developing community engagement programming for adults and youth.

The runner-up will be eligible to select a local nonprofit to receive a $5,000 grant.

The challenge is part of the Ford Men of Courage initiative aimed at building communities by advancing the narrative of Black men through storytelling, educational events, intergenerational forums, community visioning sessions and other curated events.

The Ford Motor Co. Fund and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit are partnering on the competition.

“The challenge centers on a keystone in African American communities — the barbershop — and encourages owners to utilize this as a launch pad to turn ideas into community outreach and success,” said Pamela Alexander, Ford Motor Co. Fund community development director. “Detroit is a city filled with men who change and improve our world every day and we are excited to celebrate and honor them with this program.” 

The Barbershop Challenge also is designed to complement the upcoming exhibit, Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. Exhibition opening this fall at the Charles H. Wright Museum. The exhibition was created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

Schedule a barbershop appointment with your barber to show support.

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