African American-owned barbershop makes history inside Walmart

African American-owned barbershop makes history inside Walmart
Lucky Spot barbershop just made history.  It is the only African American-owned and operated barbershop located inside any Walmart in the nation, and it is now open at the store on Wilkinson Boulevard in West Charlotte.
“We are thrilled to be affiliated with Lucky Spot, an organization that has demonstrated exemplary outreach and cohesion efforts throughout the Charlotte community,” Michelle Azel Belaire, senior director of community relations for Walmart, said.
Corbett’s original barbershop opened in 2011.
More than a barbershop, Corbett will use the space to continue community outreach, including his program Cops and Barbers.
Corbett launched Cops and Barbers in the wake of the 2014 officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown to find a way to help bridge a gap between local law enforcement officials and the community.  The program has a simple name with an infinite mission.
“The barbershop once was the centerpiece of the community,” Corbett said. “We’re just bringing that feel back and it is allowing us to give back to the community on a bigger level.”
Cops and Barbers starts with a scholarship-buddy program, where qualifying students receive a scholarship to attend barber school, participate in volunteer activities and peer-to-peer police academy cadet partnerships.
The program will start pairing a lot more people like them -- black barbers and white cops -- so when volatile situations flare up, they can work together to calm tensions.
The initiative was created to establish meaningful relationships thus making it easier to have much needed dialogue between police and the community.
Mayor Vi Lyles and Police Chief Kerr Putney credit Corbett with helping improve relationships between police and the African American community in Charlotte.
Once the fanfare of the opening is over, Corbett and team will resume free community tutoring services and serve as a meeting place for the Cops and Barbers program student participants to meet with the police cadet buddies.
Next, Corbett’s goal is to own five shops over the next five years and to expand the Cops and Barbers program to youth all over the nation.
“I am excited to have a partnership with such an established brand,” Corbett said.  “We plan to take the community aspect of corporate business to new and unseen heights.”
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