Jocelyn Mayhle from Frank’s Barbershop does a free haircut

PHOTO ESSAY: Fathers and Sons Together Barbershop Event Encourages Hope

by Susan Fried


About a half dozen barbers volunteered their services last weekend so people could get free haircuts at Rainier Beach Community Center plaza. In addition to the cuts, there was food, entertainment, and free COVID-19 vaccines. The event was held in partnership with the Department of Neighborhoods and hosted by Fathers and Sons Together (FAST) — a youth development organization that aims to nurture the relationships between fathers and sons. It also featured three panel discussions around significant issues affecting the community, including one on health and wellness — in particular how they relate to COVID-19 — one on the recent surge in gun violence, and a third to discuss ways to help youth and create positive change in the community.

The health and wellness panel featured Chris Porter from POCAAN, a multicultural organization that works to address health disparities in marginalized communities, and Grace Wang from the International District Medical and Dental Clinic (ICHS). Vic Roberson with the Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC), Rex Brown from the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD), and Bo Reeves from the Hi-Tee Youth Golf Program were there to lead the discussion on how to create stronger communities.

The gun violence panel included Seattle Police Interim Chief Adrian Diaz, SPD Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin, Harriet Walden from Mothers for Police Accountability, and Victoria Beach, chair of the Seattle Police Department’s African American Community Advisory Council. Also present was Alicia Dassa — whose son Conner Dassa-Holland, 18, was shot and killed outside his home on Mother’s Day in 2020. The panel also included several young men from We Are Amazing, an organization started by FAST Youth Director Lincoln Wilmore, to “create a powerful, positive, and inspirational movement.” 

The annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play brings together community leaders, youth, and neighbors in an inclusive, positive, fun and constructive way. FAST said in their press release that they hoped that one of the outcomes of this year’s event would be that “this project will encourage hope instead of hopelessness and inspire leadership, accountability, and responsibility.”

Lincoln Wilmore, 16, talks during a panel discussion about gun violence on July 31, 2021, during FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Adetokunbo Amoda, 10, has his hair cut by Jocelyn Mayhle from Frank’s Barbershop during FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza on July 31, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Adult members of the community, Seattle Police Department, and youth talk about gun violence at FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Larry Wilmore and Alicia Dassa share a laugh during FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza on July 31, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Adrian gets a vaccine on July 31, 2021, during FAST’s Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Jamari Wilmore, 12, who works with the youth organization We Are Amazing listens to a discussion about gun violence during the July 31, 2021, FAST annual “Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play” event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Brandy Grant, executive director of the Seattle Community Police Commission, participates in a discussion about gun violence at FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza on July 31, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz comments during a panel discussion about gun violence at FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Friends Yvette Dinish and FAST Co-Director Cathie Wilmore greet each other at the annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza on July 31, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Kenny gets his hair cut by Aaron Lucas, an SPD police officer and a barber at Brooks Family Barbershop, during the Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on July 31, 2021, at the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Chukundi Salisbury Jr., 15, plays chess in the Detective Cookie Chess Club tent during FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza on July 31, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)
SPD Detective Denise “Cookie” Bouldin plays chess during FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza on July 31, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Barber Daylen Frost from Frank’s Barbershop talks to Kimilo, 15, about what sort of haircut he would like during FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza on July 31, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Harriet Walden says a few words during a panel discussion about gun violence on July 31, 2021, during FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center Plaza. (Photo: Susan Fried)
About a half dozen barbers volunteered to give free haircuts at FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza on July 31, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Susan Fried is a 40-year veteran photographer. Her early career included weddings, portraits, and commercial work — plus, shes been The Skanner News’ Seattle photographer for 25 years. Her images have appeared in the University of Washingtons The Daily, The Seattle Globalist, Crosscut, and many more. She’s been an Emerald contributor since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.

📸 Featured Image: Jocelyn Mayhle from Frank’s Barbershop does a free haircut during FAST’s annual Barbershop Cut, Chat, Chew, and Play event on the Rainier Beach Community Center plaza on July 31, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)

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