Clean Cut

Updated: Feb 1, 2019

The Clean Cut Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative Mission

The mission of the Clean Cut Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative is to transform lives by using trained barbers as “community change mentors” to deliver an evidence- based curriculum to help youth and young adults change errant thinking and behaviors that will lead to enduring improvements in their mood and functioning in order to help them avoid substance abuse and violence.


We envision a world where every child and teen has access to adults and peers that help develop positive relationships as the foundation for healthy development. “Clean Cut Shops” will offer safe and consistent places for youth and young adults to navigate social-emotional challenges and to examine norms and cultural conditions that promote healthy adolescent formation.


The Clean Cut Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative has been created for youth and young adults to be able to experience a safe, welcoming and inclusive community that offers caring, support, and healthy connections to navigate relational and social-emotional challenges. These factors enable the development of increased resiliency and positive growth that helps youth and young adults avoid substance abuse and violence in spite of imposed negative cultural influences and adverse environmental factors.

Program Description

The Clean-Cut Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative is based on a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy model that has a variety of cognitive and behavioral techniques embedded throughout its theoretical framework design. The training provided by the community change mentoring initiative has been purposefully designed to embrace the unique and organic culture that exists within black barbershops. Clean Cut is overtly defined by its use of culturally relevant, organic project delivery strategies. Clean Cut borrows from a variety of psycho-dynamic modalities, including motivational interviewing, distorted thinking re-focusing, acceptance, compassion and solution focused commitment pledges.

The Clean-Cut Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative is an “organic barbershop mentoring” initiative for youth and young adults that are between the ages of 5 to 24 years old. Clean Cut integrates resiliency building through social-emotional and communication skills training in a specific format designed to increase positive connections, personal and collective strength, and social competence. Clean Cut aims to counteract negative social and interpersonal forces that impede youth growth and development by promoting an emotionally safe environment within which youth and young adults can develop caring relationships and use authentic voices. Clean Cut is a strength-based mentoring approach to promote safe and healthy passage through pre-teen, adolescent and young adult years. Clean Cut addresses essential developmental needs for positive relationships and behaviors to help build leadership qualities individually and collectively.

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