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Barbershop Talks Offer UT Success Academy Cohort an Opportunity for Camaraderie

Several times throughout the year at UT, inspired by the camaraderie of a traditional barbershop, students gather for a special event, “Barbershop Talk,” designed to bring Black and Hispanic men together. These Barbershop Talks provide a safe, welcoming space where participants can openly discuss life’s experiences, share their stories, and seek advice while enjoying the hospitality of getting a haircut. 

Dedric Robinson, a sophomore majoring in marketing, said, “Barbershop talk has been an amazing experience for me because it gives me the opportunity to have meaningful and fulfilling conversations with my peers and faculty that I value heavily while letting go of any concerns or stress that were on my mind before walking into Barbershop Talk.” 

This UT Success Academy event offers more than just a trim; it is a chance to connect, enjoy delicious food, and build a strong community of support between students, faculty, staff, and local community members. Barbershop Talk is an opportunity for UTSA’s diverse community to engage in meaningful conversations around things affecting their personal, social, and academic well-being. All UTSA members can participate, learn, and bond in a familiar environment like the barbershop. 

Joshua Rich is a junior majoring in biomedical engineering and member of UTSA, but also serves as one of the barbers for the event. “Barbershop talk has impacted first and foremost the clientele I receive. It puts me out there so people know that I cut hair and is good for business,” Rich said. “It is also just a great time for us young men to share thoughts through deep conversation and build friendships and connections.” 

UTSA’s most recent Barbershop Talk on October 11, 2023, had the most participants ever with over 50 students in attendance. The program has hosted six Barbershop Talks since they began in fall 2022. Mike Dorsey, known as “Coach Mike D,” moderates the discussions. Special guests have included Reggie Lane, UT’s director of player development, Tyvi Small, vice chancellor for Diversity & Engagement, Anthony Prewitt, director of Multicultural Student Life, and David Ndiaye, director of Student Disability Services.  

Coach Mike D is an inspiring peak performance coach, author, and podcast host. As a devoted coach, he has made it his mission to encourage, empower, and enhance individuals to reach their maximum impact and find fulfillment in every aspect of their lives. Through his weekly podcast “Impact and Fulfillment with Coach Mike D” and his social media presence, Mike D drops gems of wisdom to help people get the most out of the life they have been gifted through an authentic lens. 

There will be one more Barbershop Talk this semester and three to four in spring 2024.