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Local barbers help educate young men about health, empowerment at annual summit

Posted at 11:38 AM, May 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-04 15:17:39-04

CLEVELAND — More than 400 young boys and men, along with dozens of parents were taught how to lead healthier lives Saturday.

Local grassroots organization All About Health brought dozens of resources under one roof at the 7th annual Boys to Men Health and Empowerment summit held at the Galleria downtown.

The goal is to help those young men not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

That includes a number of workshops led by the Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative, demonstrations on how to use exercise equipment properly and learning strategy through chess-playing.

The young men were also treated to free haircuts provided by volunteers of the Urban Barber Association. The barbers were encouraged to initiate meaningful and constructive conversations with those young men.

“We want to kind of change the conversation or the narrative inside the barbershops. We’re all going to talk about the Browns, Cavs, and Indians, but its important that we get to these young kids early to plant the seed about getting on a workout regimen, about just thinking positive about yourself. It's so much negative energy that sometimes you don’t have a cheerleader, so sometimes you’ve got to look yourself in the mirror and be your own cheerleader," Waverly Willis, executive director of the Urban Barber Association, said.

All About Health are also hosting a girls’ health summit later this year where about 700-800 girls are expected to sign up.