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Philly Barbers Aim to Boost Voter Turnout

Can training local barbers to talk to clients about civic participation increase voting?
relates to Philly Barbers Aim to Boost Voter Turnout
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

What better way to leave an impression in someone’s head about voting than to have barbers lead the discussion? A group out of Philadelphia believes this is one solid way to increase voter turnout in the city, especially among African Americans. The Youth Outreach Adolescent Community Awareness Program (YO-ACAP) recently won a $250,000 grant from The Knight Foundation for its Sharp Insight proposal to recruit local barbers to share elections information and resources.  

It makes sense: A lot of things are passionately shared in the barbershop space, from myth-busting (and myth-generating) to intense chatter around sports-team supremacy. And while policy is often on the menu of issues to debate, there’s not always a lot of follow-up in those heated discussions on how to channel that political fervor to the polls.