Brotherhood of barbers unite to stop violence on South Side

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A brotherhood of barbers on Chicago's South Side came together Sunday to help stop gun violence.

As the music played and a dance contest eventually got underway, dozens of Chicago's finest barbers descended on Ogden Park to give free haircuts in the spirit of a peaceful summer.

"That is actually good because when you have free haircuts, parents don't have to waste their money," said 9-year-old Bryden Rutherford.

The event united the Englewood community to say no to violence and reenact the spirit portrayed in the feature film "Barbershop 3," barbers advocating for their communities.

"It is very important that we have this thing so that we can show the unity and strength of our community and not always so much the violence," said Lori Kilgore, who was with her grandson at the event.

Sunni Ali Powell had a violent exchange happen in his barbershop three years ago. He's played a lead role stressing the barbers' position in their communities since then.

"We want to set a precedent for peace for the summer," he said. "So we are going to love on you from who? Your most valuable tradesman in your neighborhood is your barber."

Powell brought in colleagues from the hundreds of shops that dot Chicago like sanctuaries for the young and old.

"A lot of us don't have fathers. A lot of us don't have uncles and, you know, big brothers so your barber becomes somebody that can change your life," he said. "He can send you off with negative stuff or he can build you up with positivity."

Kenneth Williams, from Silk n Classy Barber College, said he's made the event, now in its fourth year, a tradition and a requirement for his students.

"They are required to come because it is something we are teaching them, how to give back to the community," he said.
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