How A Barbershop Brought The Cary Community Closer

Jul 19, 2018

After Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a national conversation started about law enforcement and communities of color. That conversation was also happening in Cary, North Carolina, at Headliners Barbershop, where the clientele is majority African-American.

Tru Pettigrew was one of those clients. He had a two-year-old son at home and was concerned about what it would be like for him to be a black boy growing up in the United States. He was so worried, he went down to the Cary Police Department to talk to someone. At the same time, leaders within the Cary Police Department were already talking about how they had not done enough to build relationships with the African-American community.

Guest host Anita Rao talks to Cary Police Chief Tony Godwin and Pettigrew about the work that followed, which is centered on monthly meetings at Headliners. Pettigrew is the Founder and CEO of Tru Access, a consultancy organization dedicated to community bridge building. Cary resident Ernest Joseph, known as E.J., also joins the conversation to share his experiences as a participant in these barbershop talks.