D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson is paying for haircuts for D.C. public and charter school students who have made prior arrangements.

DC Clouncilmember Phil Mendelson

On Aug. 28, Mendelson, a Democrat, will be present at the Davis Barber and Beauty Supply shop located on Livingston Road, S.E. in Ward 8 from 12-1 p.m. The barbers at the shop will cut and style the hair of the students for no charge from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The chairman’s office of constituent services is coordinating the event and Mendelson is more than happy to participate.

“This is the second year we’ve done it,”Mendelson said in a statement to the AFRO. “It’s a great community activity. It’s a way of helping kids who probably can use the savings from getting a free haircut for other back-to-school needs.”

Davis Barber is co-owned by Derek and Marsten Davis and is considered a District institution.

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Derek E. Davis is a former president of the National Association of Barber Boards of America. He wrote the first barbering curriculum for the D.C. public schools in 1982, taught barbering in various public high schools for many years and has chaired the District of Columbia Barber and Cosmetology Board.

His late father, Willie Roscoe Davis, opened Davis Barber shop in 1968 and, throughout the years, became an advocate for the profession in the city. In 1995, Willie Davis was appointed to the District’s Board of Barbers and Cosmetology and he was inducted posthumously (he died in 2001) into the Barber Hall of Fame by the 83rd National Association of Barber Boards of America in Las Vegas, Nev., on Sept. 16, 2009.

Davis told the AFRO he was approached by Mendelson’s staff for the free haircuts.

“I got a call from the chairman’s chief of staff who asked me whether I wanted to participate this year,” Davis said. “I agreed to do so. I have been performing activities like this, such as cutting young people and supervising barber students in cutting homeless veterans hair, for decades.”

Davis said that what Mendelson is doing is good for the community.

“We believe in giving back to the community that has been good to us,” he said.

Mendelson agrees with Davis on that.

“It’s also a way of reminding students how important school is and showing kids that the community cares–not just me, but the barbershop and the other people who participate in this event,” he said. “This is something that makes the kids look good and feel good about going back to school.”