Ford Men of Courage
 Barbershop Challenge


The Ford Men of Courage Tacoma Barbershop Challenge

In Partnership with


Launched in 2015, Ford Men of Courage is a national grassroots program designed to build communities by advancing the narrative of black men through programming and storytelling.  In addition to virtual and online programming, curated forums were held in Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles. As a result of the forums, numerous community programs and partnerships were launched in support of African American men.

In 2019, Ford expanded its Men of Courage programming to include a Barbershop Challenge.  The purpose of the Challenge is to provide a greater outreach into communities through an innovative partnership with barbershops, a keystone of the African American community. The first Barbershop Challenge which kicked-off in Cincinnati in August 2019 and brought innovative programs and engagement to the region.  The next Men of Courage Barbershop Challenge will launch in Tacoma on October 15, 2019 in partnership with the Washington State History Museum (WSHM) and the City of Tacoma.

All barbershops meeting program requirements (see below) are eligible to apply to be a part of the Challenge.  Two barbershops will be selected to become Ford Men of Courage barbershops for a limited (three month) period.  During that time the two barbershops will “compete” to provide innovative programming that advances the narrative of African American men. Ford, WSHM and the City of Tacoma will work with the selected barbershops to assist in the development of some programs and initiatives.  At the end of the three month period, the winning barbershop will receive a grant of $10,000 to enhance their barbershop and implement community programming and initiatives that build upon their role in the community. The runner up in the challenge is eligible to select a local non-profit to receive a $5000 grant from Ford Fund. The nonprofit of choice must be a Section 501(c)(3) organization that is classified as “public charities” under Section 509(a)(1) or (2) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) or political subdivisions.  The nonprofits mission must also align with Ford Motor Company Fund’s funding pillars surrounding education, community life and driving safely.

Ford invites all state certified barbershop owners ages 18 and up to submit an innovative proposal supporting why their barbershop should be selected as a Men of Courage Barbershop and what it would mean for their community.

Tacoma Timeline

10/15/19Tacoma Barbershop Challenge Launches (applications available on www.fgb.life)
11/22/19 Last day to submit applications for the Tacoma Barbershop Challenge
12/1/19Selection of the two Tacoma Barbershop Challenge Finalists
12/16/19Announcement of the two Tacoma Barbershop Challenge Finalists
12/21/19Tacoma Barbershop Challenge Competition Begins
March 2020Winner Announced for both Tacoma Barbershop Challenge & Runner-Up Community Donation


cincinnati Barbershop Challenge - Still In Progress

(Competition closes December 2019)

Congratulations to the two finalists of the 2019 Men of Courage Cincinnati Barbershop Challenge!

Barbershop Owner:
Donald Hudson

Their plan is to create a tutorial space for neighborhood kids using an underutilized area in the lower level of the building.

Tommy Mays and Michael Thomas, Jr

The shop is over 10 years old and is looking to refresh the premises and use the funds to upgrade their customer experience.

The two finalists will compete in the Men of Courage Cincinnati Barbershop Challenge. One winning barbershop will receive a grant of $10,000. An additional $5,000 grant will be awarded to the barbershop applicant that proposes the most innovative community idea that includes partnership with a nonprofit group.

In Partnership with


Cincinnati Timeline

5/15/19Cincinnati Barbershop Challenge Launches (applications available on www.fgb.life)
7/5/19Last day to submit applications for barbershop competition
7/29/19Selection and announcement of the winning Cincinnati barbershops and community projects
8/17/19Cincinnati Barbershop Competition Begins
December Winner Announced for Cincinnati Barbershop Competition & Community Project