A St. Olaf football player is building a barbershop — and a platform for student-athletes

Two men get hair cuts.
Student-athletes Aidan Lloyd, right, and Partev Galstyan get their hair cut from barbers from Trendz barbershop, who set up on the St. Olaf College campus weekly to cut students' hair in Northfield on Nov. 8.
Evan Frost | MPR News

Finding a barber who can cut different hair types can be a problem, especially in smaller towns in Minnesota. When a group of student-athletes, many of whom are people of color, at St. Olaf College in Northfield couldn’t find a barber to cut their hair, they set out to come up with a solution and created their own pop-up barbershop.

Aidan Lloyd is a football player at St. Olaf and the founder of Oles Against Inequality, or OAI, the group that organized the pop-up. He told host Cathy Wurzer more about the project and why he thinks it's important for athletes to speak up and take action.

Lloyd said OAI is for and by student-athletes because athletes have a unique platform and are in the spotlight when it comes to social justice movements and protests. He pointed to LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick as examples of sports stars leveraging their reach to take action and inspire change.

Because OAI is a relatively new student organization, Lloyd said the group is still trying to carve out its own lane with initiatives like the barbershop and other community outreach projects.

In the future, Lloyd hopes to grow the barbershop with a permanent space, more equipment, and more barbers and stylists so that it can serve people with any type of hair.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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