Black barbershops have long been a place for community members to talk about everything from sports to entertainment. Now, Andrew Glass is working to make them a place to talk about politics.
Led by Andrew Glass, the Shape Up The Vote initiative brings together Black barbershops from across the country in an effort to increase voter turnout. Barbershops participating in the movement have distributed posters with key dates, led conversations about the importance of voting and hosted voter registration drives.
“As our country heads into the critical election, we’re encouraged to see local leaders rally their communities to make their voices heard,” Glass said.
“We started the project based on our belief that barbers are local leaders. Especially in this time of social isolation, barbers hold a unique space for dialogue and conversation. Our team has a deep appreciation for local businesses and community leaders, and set out to empower barbers to use their influence in the 2020 election.”
With one day until election day, Shape Up The Vote has worked with 1,000 barbershops in major cities like Detroit, Atlanta and New York. Now, the initiative is partnering with the barber-friendly app, theCut, to keep the movement charging forward.
“We partnered with Shape Up the Vote because barbershops have always been trusted spaces of conversations for people of color. At the same time, barbers are trusted leaders in Black and brown communities and barbershops are places where people from all walks of life will eventually come visit," theCut CEO Obi Omile Jr. said.
“Voting is incredibly important. Black people haven’t always had the right to vote, so everyone who is capable should go out and exercise that right as often as they can.”
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