Each month, the WIE Champions highlight a grassroots organization that is making a difference in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. At our January meeting, the spotlight for the month was on Cops & Barbers, an organization dedicated toward establishing relationships between police and the community they serve making it easier to have much needed change for sustainable community growth.

About Cops & Barbers

The Cops & Barbers Initiative was created in 2015 by Shaun Corbett, a barber, and Garry McFadden, a police detective, in the wake of the Mike Brown shooting as an opportunity to bridge the gap between the Police and the community they serve as the barbershop is a trusted cornerstone of the community. The initiative has been credited to establish meaningful relationships thus making it easier to have much needed dialogue for sustainable community growth. To date, Cops & Barbers has grown from an idea, to an initiative that would gain national and local attention to now a thriving foundation. The Cops & Barbers Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was established to provide a sense of hope,
determination, and willingness through the barbering profession and Police relationship building.

The Cops & Barber Scholarship Program encourages the participants to continue their education while teaching them to be exceptional students, uncanny barbering tool technique, volunteerism and more.

See more about the initiative in The Charlotte Magazine.

View their video.

Champions Chain Reaction

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On August 8th, The WIE CHAMPIONS held a "Chain Reaction" (Cross Cultural Chat) where each person shared the things in his life that formulated his initial prejudices toward people not like them and what they've done to change this attitude. The purpose of the "Chain Reaction" is for members of the group to get to know each other better and "get ahead of the curve thus preventing what happened in Charlottesville and other areas in the country".  Comments from participants were things like:

  • "It made me feel uncomfortable but I found out that there were others who've had similar experiences",
  • "Being able to share my experiences made me realize how far I've come toward being more acceptable of others", and
  • "I now have a bond and an appreciation of others of different cultures".

The 2+ hour session was moderated by Gwen Garnett, WIE Program Coordinator.  WIE's consultants are experts in conducting authentic and meaningful conversations that build trust across race and culture.

The Champions are the men's affiliate of WIE and support its mission — "Building Trust Across Race and Culture".  The group meets for breakfast the last Wednesday of the month at various places across the city.  If you or someone you know would like to join us, drop us note at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Champions Inspiring Trust

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Champions Men’s Affiliate Grows Ranks and Programs

WIE Champions comprises a group of over 100 diverse men who support the mission of WIE and want to extend the community dialogue to other men in Charlotte. Together, they examine and discuss racial fears embedded in work interactions, education, and public policy and the impact that erodes cross-cultural trust.  The Champions meet on a regular basis to discuss items of importance in the Charlotte community and actively participate in events, activities and to further WIE’s mission.

To further their impact in 2018, three programs were presented at the Levine Museum of the New South (LMNS) with the theme, Inspiring Trust to Transform Charlotte at the Levine Museum of the New South and sponsored by The Kaleidoscope Group.  Over 150 people participated in the programs including a showing of film clips from the Color of Fear, a documentary with eight North American men — two African American, two Latinos, two Asian American and two Caucasian who were gathered by director Lee Mun Wah, for a dialog about the state of race relations in America as seen through their eyes. In a separate session the Champions held a more in-depth program showing the entire film and continued their discussion further.

TO2 8875Finally, in partnership with the Levine Museum of the New South, the film 9/4/57 was shown featuring a interview by WBTV reporter Steve Crump who interviewed Dorothy Counts-Scoggins regarding her experiences as the first African American student to integrate Harding High School in Charlotte. The interview was followed by a spirited Q&A session from the audience.

If you or someone you know would like to join the Champions, send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add you to our meeting distribution list.



Rich RoblesIn a city where the Latino population is growing by the day, one man's story shows how the help of just a few people can change families for generations


Rich Robles came to the U.S. as a teenager, escaping an abusive family. Now he works at Novant Health and helps with multiple nonprofit organizations in Charlotte.

CLICK HERE to read his essay on his family, his journey and what he's doing to improve himself and the lives of others.

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Employment Opportunities

SAFE ALLIANCE - Senior Finance and Strategy Officer at Children Family Services Center

Champions' Partners

The Color of Law Charlotte organizing group is taking a new approach to our Community Discussion events. Our intent is to help the community better understand the Affordable Housing Crisis and how our historical laws/policies have created this situation.

Heal Charlotte —We are an organization here to serve the community, to build trust and a legitimate bond between the community, its laborers, and officials. We are here to serve and create an open dialogue between the citizens, police and elected officials of our community.