Education Reform Should Happen at Barber Shops

Can you imagine the level of engagement that happens in the salon and barber shops? From debates on the latest viral video, politics, and community events; all the current events that matter to people are being talked about in the barber shop.

The “Hairs to Your Health” Campaign is IERN WILL Educational Services founding initiative.  The reason everything started with hair, is because a significant amount of time and resources are invested there for African American families. The level of FDA regulation on personal care products allows toxic ingredients, banned in other countries, to be used here in the US.

Did I mention that African American households spend anywhere from 40 – 50%  of their income on hair care, whether their income is 40K a year or 100K?  That means black people are spending 9 times more than anyone else on hair products.

That’s not including seat time costs.    

But when we’re in that seat, transformation really happens. Not only do we feel refreshed for our moment of pampering, hair removal, and social interaction; in that space, we are able to be unapologetically ourselves with the person we trust with our beauty regimen.  The level of trust, engagement, and interaction within the barber shop perfectly models how any well informed educator would like their learning environment to look.  

Information is being shared, laughter is plentiful, and for the most part individuals have at least 1 person they trust to lend a listening ear in the room.

On April 9th Freedom Radio was at Bat’s Barber Shop located at 5911 Penn Avenue in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh for “Take a Health Care Professional to the People Day”. “Take A Day” was launched through the Center for Minority Health, now the Center for Health Equity, at the University of Pittsburgh.

With opportunities to get health screenings and things like your blood pressure checked:

To learn about various health studies going on within the community,

To get help identifying appropriate health care insurance and preventative care,

As well as chances to network with local business owners,

and college students within the health care field,

The time served as a perfect opportunity to learn from everyone.  With the mixture of the atmosphere and the opportunity for learning experiences to happen in a space where people are comfortable and trusting, the Barber Shops of the world make the best place for Education Reform.

That, is Holistically Engineering Education that works for everyone.

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2 thoughts on “Education Reform Should Happen at Barber Shops

  1. I LOVE, lOVE, LOVE the concept of Hairs to a Your Health and agree that both barbershops and salons should be one of the hubs of education reform I our communities because it’s in these spaces that we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, open to teachable moments and the investment of time necessary to effect “change”

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