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Young Black Boys Find Wisdom and Encouragement About Their Futures at the Barbershop

Mercedes Mejia of Michigan Radio writes about something incredibly cool happening in Detroit thanks to Edmund Lewis Jr., CEO of Minority Males for Higher Education. Barbershop Chats as a way to mentor and engage young black boys.  
Lewis began the Barbershop Chats a few years ago. He’s the founder and CEO of Minority Males for Higher Education, a Detroit-based nonprofit that gives young black boys and men the resources they need to get to college. “Many of them lack mentors, [and] lack father figures at home," says Lewis. "I wanted to bring something that supports them overall, and give them an opportunity to hang out and have fun." The goal of the Barbershop Chats is to engage these  kids in conversations about college, and the challenges they might be facing at home or in school. Lewis brings in working professionals from the community to talk to the kids. At this chat, there’s a lawyer, a social worker and a pro basketball player. They’re talking about the role of fathers. Shane Lawal, the pro basketball player, opens up about his childhood. “One of the main reasons I am the way I am is because I don’t want to be like my father," he says. "It’s a big drive for why I do the thing I do. Because I’ve seen that the way he approached his life is very unsuccessful."  

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