Washington, D.C. (August 25, 2017) — Howard University, Howard Dormitory Holdings 1, LLC and private sector partner Corvias, announced the grand opening of the HBCU’s first on-campus barbershop, offering grooming services, training, and mentorship to students and residents.
This new amenity is located on the north side of campus in the student residence, Charles Drew Hall. More than 520 students living in Drew Hall and Cook Hall will have access to the facility 15 hours per week, to receive haircuts and grooming services at no charge from licensed barber and Howard University Alumnus, LaMont Russell. Students, faculty or staff members interested in learning the “art of barbering” will have the opportunity to participate in a mentorship program, which will offer guidance and insight to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Today, the shop was officially unveiled to students, university officials, and invited guests, as they celebrated the opening with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.
“Howard University remains committed to providing exceptional services and experiences to its students,” stated Dr. Frederick. “This barbershop is an excellent amenity and we appreciate the work Corvias has done to meet our expectations.”
Special guests attending the event include Mr. Nelson Malden, former barber of Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Dr. LaMarr Shields, creator of theatrical commentary Fades and Fellowship; and Dr. Kevin Washington, president of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), and assistant professor in the School of Education at the University. Each attendee plays an essential role in celebrating the milestone, reflecting on the essence of barbershops and the role they play in the community.
In addition to haircuts, the opening of the barbershop also creates an opportunity to incorporate an educational component. Throughout the academic year, Corvias will host “Barbershop Talks,” informational sessions and programming. During these sessions, influential guest speakers will engage students in openly exploring and discussing themes around adulthood, family, education, and more.
“The installation of this barbershop goes beyond providing hair cuts and grooming services to students,” says Evan Allen, community management director with Corvias. “Historically, barbershops have played an essential role in promoting unity and tradition in our communities, all characteristics that we want to continue to uphold with the residents in Drew and Cook Hall.”
The total cost of the barbershop installation was approximately $25k. While institutional investors funded the construction of the project as part of the University’s partnership with Corvias to enhance current on-campus housing infrastructures, additional funding for the project was provided by Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation (RBCF).
Based in Anne Arundel County, MD, the charitable, non-profit organization, founded by barbershop owner Robert Cradle, is dedicated to creating facilities that enhance access to grooming, hygiene, and personal well-being. Through pledges and contributions by individuals, corporations and private foundations, Cradle and his team were able to cover the costs for grooming tools, hair care products and barbering equipment to furnish the space.
“We discovered that accessibility to ongoing grooming services has been a long-standing concern for students who live on campus,” said Cradle, managing director of RBCF. “Addressing grooming related barriers in our communities is a part of our mission and we are very proud to play a role in providing this service to the student residents at Howard University.”
The shop includes the installation of one barbering station, a barbering chair, shampoo bowl, two TV monitors, and fixtures to hold clippers and supplies. There is also a designated lounge area surrounding the shop, separated by glass partitions, for students waiting to receive service.
As the property and program manager for Drew Hall, Corvias will manage the day-to-day operations of the barbershop, with comprehensive management and consulting services provided by RBCF. Cradle’s organization will also track the monthly impact of the barbershop in order to measure the usefulness and effectiveness of the on-campus service.
Brittany Bell, Howard University, Brittany.firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Douglas, Corvias, Kelly.email@example.com
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, nine Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 60 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus
African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit www.howard.edu.
As a privately-owned company headquartered in East Greenwich, RI, Corvias partners with higher education and government institutions nationwide to solve their most essential systemic problems and create long-term, sustainable value through our unique approach to partnership. Corvias pursues the kinds of partnerships that materially and sustainably improve the quality of life for the people who call our communities home, purposefully choosing to partner with organizations who share our values and whose mission is to serve as the foundational blocks, or pillars, of our nation. To learn more, please visit: www.corvias.com.
About Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation
Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation (RBCF) was created in March 2000, by an Anne Arundel County Master Barber and barbershop owner, Robert W. Cradle. The organization’s goal is to increase access to grooming for targeted population who has barriers to regular hygienic care. To date, the organization has installed barber/styling salon, provided grooming and hygiene supplies, equipment, and grooming training sessions to ten (10) Maryland area homeless shelters, nine (9) social service/education agencies and four (4) Public Schools. Since the RBCF began in 2000, it has provided more than 21,000 no-charge services for over 8,000 individuals who lack access to regular grooming. To learn more about RBCF, visit: www.therbcf.com.