#1MExperiments



A Virtual Zine Project
c/o Project Nia & Interrupting Criminalization

Explore snapshots of community-based safety strategies that expand our ideas about what keeps us safe.

One Million Experiments is...

︎︎︎ a place to browse community-based safety projects for inspiration, 

︎︎︎ a newsletter featuring zines that highlight the nuts and bolts of particular projects, and

︎︎︎ an opportunity to share your projects.

Experiments updated at the beginning of the month. Follow @interruptcrim for news.



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[Cam Bonelli/Hattiesburg American]

THE CONFESS PROJECT



Location: GA, MS, NC, SC, TN

Organization: The Confess Project

Contact: info@theconfessproject.com

“America’s first mental health barbershop movement”

The Confess Project is committed to building a culture of mental health for boys, men of color, and their families through capacity building, advocacy, organizing and movement building. We believe in a world without barriers to stigma and shame.

︎ Does not collaborate with police
︎ Volunteer-led
︎ Offered at no cost to participants*

*Barber Coalition members have access to an optional monthly premium network subscription ($7.99) with additional business, and training opportunities.
"As a barber, people listen to our advice a lot, and the training just brought that out more," said Antonio Wiggins, who cuts hair and teaches at the Trendsetters Barber College in Jackson, Miss. "I didn’t even realize I was helping people mentally and how important that was."

In June, Wiggins was one of 20 who participated in the latest round of training by The Confess Project, an Arkansas-based group that has taught Black barbers across the South how to fold emotional support into that "shop talk" and de-stigmatize those conversations in predominantly male waiting areas.

Wiggins said the training showed him that what goes unsaid can be just as important to listen for.”

Overall, the South accounts for six of the bottom 10 states for mental health care access nationwide, according to the MHA report: Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee.

The Confess Project has worked with barbers in each of those states except Alabama. And Confess Project founder Lorenzo Lewis said he has seen encouraging results.

On the micro level we’re working to build stronger, healthier relationships," Lewis said. "On the macro level, we see that poverty may be decreased. Men come in the shops that have better employment outcomes and better mental health.

Tiffany Haynes, an associate professor at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, studied the barriers to mental health care for Black people who live in rural areas. In that 2017 study, she found that high costs and lack of insurance were primary factors as well as a shortage of healthcare providers in the region.

Haynes also found that within the Black community, a clear need for mental health care often clashed with a lack of access to mental health literacy and deeply-rooted stigmas against seeking therapy.

Excerpted From: Mississippi barbers get mental health training to aid Black communities, Andrew J. Yawn, The Clarion Ledger, July, 28, 2020

Mark