A COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
Values & Guiding Principles
▪ Community – We are embedded in the communities we serve. Cops & Barbers is an inside-out organization, building trust at the grassroots level that can only be accomplished through community engagement that is authentic and real.
▪ Commitment – We do what we say we are going to do. The trust of a youth in poverty is hard won and easily lost. Consistency of action is the only way to build that relationship as an asset for future investment.
▪ Empowerment – We provide an opportunity for an alternative narrative for life. People are more than the sum of their experiences. Through opportunity and perseverance, one can overcome obstacles to achieve anything they put their minds to.
▪ Entrepreneurship – We see an end to the generational cycle of poverty through ownership. Economic mobility is achieved when young people see an opportunity to radically change the trajectory of their lives. The barbering profession is a platform for learning the business skills needed to be a successful business owner.
▪ Professionalism – We hold ourselves to a high standard of conduct, behavior and attitude. Being a professional is about more than what you know and how you dress. It is about the intentionality of your actions and the content of your character.
▪ Leadership – We lead by example. Words are only as powerful as the deeds they describe. Our leadership is earned through every interaction we have and every promise we keep.
▪ Integrity – We live our values every day. Walking the walk means living our values every day. Our intentionality sets us apart and inspires others to walk with us.
The Cops & Barbers Initiative was created in 2015 by Shaun “Lucky” Corbett (a local barber) and Garry McFadden (then-detective with CMPD) in the wake of the Mike Brown Shooting in Ferguson, Mo. as an opportunity to bridge the gap between the police and community they serve. Shaun heard from parents who were concerned for the safety of their children, asking: “what should I tell my son to make sure he is not shot during a confrontation with police?”
Town hall meetings were held to convene police officers and the community. The initiative was credited with establishing meaningful relationships, making it easier to have much needed dialogue for sustainable community growth. The effort received significant attention when then-President Barack Obama invited Shaun to participate in the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Soon after, civil unrest came to Charlotte in 2016 following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.
Seeing an opportunity to deepen the role of the barbershop serving as a trusted cornerstone of the community, Cops & Barbers was launched as a 501c3 nonprofit organization utilizing the barbering profession as a platform for relationship-building with area police while transforming the lives of youth seeking to break the cycle of generational poverty.
Who We Serve:
The core program is the Cops & Barbers Scholarship Program, which is open to young men and women ages 16-25 who have an interest in the barbering profession but lack the financial resources necessary to attend school. Cops & Barbers encourages the participants to continue their education while teaching them to be exceptional students, uncanny barbering tool technique, volunteerism, community service and more.