HAMPTON, Va. (November 5, 2018) – The Peace Corps recently announced its inaugural Peace Corps HBCU Barbershop Tour and stopped by Hampton University to meet with students and share their mission. The tour officially kicked off on October 2, 2018 at Nile Style Barbershop near Morgan State University in Baltimore.
“Hampton University welcomes the Peace Corps with open arms. Any organization coming to Hampton to recruit our students knows that they are getting the absolute best and the brightest,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
The HBCU Barbershop Tour was created by HBCU alum, returned Peace Corps volunteer, and Diversity Recruiter Dwayne Matthews. The creation stems from Matthews’ real life experience leading to his Peace Corps service. Matthews believes breaking the mold of the traditional recruitment campaigns and entering safe spaces with a relatable story will create and revive the conversation of Peace Corps being an option after receiving an undergraduate degree.
“We’re looking to recruit people of color, specifically men of color, which is why we’re going to the barbershops so we can have a genuine and intimate conversation about the Peace Corps, about international service and international development so ours and their stories can be told abroad,” said Matthews. “We work abroad for 27 months in six different sectors of health, education, environment, agriculture, youth and development, community and economic development. It’s a dynamic way to utilize your degree to mix passion and purpose.”
The tour will feature 10 stops on HBCU campuses and local barbershops that serve the university population and surrounding communities. Each visit will include stakeholder meetings with university and college staff, class talks and information sessions on campus and panel discussions with returned Peace Corps volunteers and university alumni at local barbershops.
“In the African American community, the barbershop is the cornerstone of politics, religion, sports, culture, networking and professional development,” said Matthews. “This tour is a chance for the Peace Corps to participate in these conversations – to listen, engage and share information about the opportunities available through volunteer service in an organic and familiar setting.”
Below is the full tour schedule with dates and locations:
- October 2: Morgan State University and Nile Style Barbershop (Maryland)
- October 3: Virginia Union University and Mike Blendz (Virginia)
- October 9: Bowie State University and Bowie Town Barbers (Maryland)
- October 15: Norfolk State University and Kappatal Cuts (Virginia)
- October 16: Virginia State University and Real Cutz (Virginia)
- October 22: Hampton University and Just Earl Barbershop (Virginia)
- October 23: Howard University and Wanda's on 7th (Washington, D.C.)
- October 24: Delaware State University and J Stylez Barbershop (Delaware)
- October 29: University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and Wolf Barbershop (Maryland)
- October 30: Coppin State University and Phaze Two Barbershop (Maryland)
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 230,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.