Barbershop keeps community first

A local barbershop is making sure students feel their best as they head back to school.

Lucky Spot Barbershop hosted their annual “Cops and Barbers” event over the weekend.

Students received free haircuts and food. They also enjoyed music, dancing and games.

Shaun Corbett is the owner of Lucky Spot. It’s the only African-American owned and operated barbershop located inside any Walmart in the nation.

This is the shop’s 11th year putting on the event.

Corbett said this year was especially important because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Covid shut so much of the world down. Any way we can get people to feel more normal or more comfortable about what the future is going to look like, we’re going to try to take every opportunity,” he said.

In addition to being an annual event, Cops and Barbers is a scholarship-buddy program.

Qualifying students receive a scholarship to attend barber school, participate in volunteer activities and peer-to-peer police academy cadet partnerships. The program pairs Black barbers with white cops so if volatile situations occur, they can work together to calm tensions.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Lieutenant Jared Saunders says the program is a great opportunity to build bridges with the youth at a young age.

“There’s a police officer or a barber willing to give them a hand up instead of a hand out, so they can build that self pride and then carry that on in their life,” Saunders said.

Corbett launched Cops and Barbers in the wake of the 2014 officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown to help bridge a gap between local law enforcement officials and the community.

“I think Cops and Barbers is a game changer. We’ve watched so many lives change,” Corbett said. He hopes the program shows the barbershop is much more than getting a haircut.

“It’s never just about a haircut. Really, if you ask me, I think the haircut is a byproduct of what the barbershop is. It’s faith, it’s family, it’s fun and it’s a life changer,” he said.

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.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, public affairs manager at WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.