(Image: Cutting for a Cure)
Minority communities, and especially black men, suffer from health disparities due to factors such as poverty, unequal access to healthcare, lack of education, stigma and racism. As a solution, Cutting for a Cure brings the hospital to them by providing healthcare access, guidance, and resources against preventable diseases.
Cutting for a Cure, a 501(c)(3), is hosting its premier event—a 48-Hour Health Fair and Haircutting Marathon providing free haircuts, free medical screenings and wellness seminars, with live entertainment and special guests. Cutting for a Cure was founded by Dennis “Denny Moe” Mitchell, who is the owner operator of Denny Moe’s Superstar Barbershop located in Harlem, New York. He has designed a collaborative and cooperative partnership model that has successfully been able to bring the barbershop and healthcare professional communities together to raise awareness.
The marathon will feature twelve celebrity barbers cutting hair for 2 days straight to promote the prevention of deadly diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. It will kick-off on July 15 with a roll call of participating barbers and a motivational message by Mitchell. This will be followed by countdown to first haircuts of the marathon with celebrity guests in each chair. A battle will take place on July 16, in which barbers will go toe-to-toe showcasing their skills at our acclaimed barber battle. Barbers have 30 minutes to execute their most skilled and elaborate cuts for a grand trophy prize.
Cutting for a Cure also will acknowledge its 2016 honorees, such as Dr. Olajide Williams (M.D., M.S., Chief-of- Staff at Columbia University) and will present its annual scholarship award, consisting of a brand new laptop and $500 cash to students entering college. The event will host a summer stage on Saturday, July 16, featuring battle rappers and TONY Award Winner Melba Moore; and, conclude on July 17 with a closing ceremony.
Mitchell notes that cancer has gone through his family, taking his father and a few of his brothers and sisters. The day after his father passed away, his brother passed. “I watched how cancer works: it goes hard and it is relentless. For this reason I put together the 48-hour marathon,” he explains. “Anyone can put an event together and have screening trucks for a couple hours. I really wanted to go hard.”
He adds that many black men do not go to the hospital and do not get screenings. “I realized that my barbershop, as an intrinsic part of my community, is one of the best platforms to spread awareness, and I wanted to use that platform to provide health screenings, along with entertainment.”