• Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

Michael Thomas Jr. and Tommy Mays, owners of Precision Blendz celebrate winning the Men of Courage Cincinnati Barbershop Challenge. Photo provided

By Aundrea Bradford 
Ntouch Communications Group

Precision Blendz owners Tommy Mays and Michael Thomas Jr. won the $10,000 grant to enhance client experience during the Men of Courage Cincinnati Barbershop Challenge. The business is at 7500 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati. 

An additional $5,000 grant was awarded to Omega Mentoring, in partnership with runnerup Donald Hudson of Razor 1 Kutzat 7218 Montgomery Road in Silverton, to be used in launching student tutorial program. 

The checks were presented December 6 at the winning Cincinnati barbershops. 

Ford presents Precision Blendz owners and staff their winning $10,000 check.  Also present were community partners, representatives from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and Microsoft. Photo provided

Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, presented the grand prizewinner $10,000 based on its implementation of initiatives and activities that educate and reinforce positive narratives around African American men. 

The Men of Courage Barbershop Challenge is an extension of Ford’s Men of Courage program – an initiative aimed at furthering the narrative of positive imagery and messaging around African American men. The challenge centers on a keystone in communities, the African American barbershop, and encourages shop owners to utilize their existing foundation for community conversation as a launch pad to turn those ideas into community outreach.   

Second-place winner Razor 1 Kutz selected Omega Mentoring Youth as its nonprofit charity to receive $5,000.  Pictured far right is Jerry Grove from Omega Mentoring Youth next to shop owner Donald Hudson. Photo provided

Ford Motor Company’s Men of Courage (MOC) initiative was launched in 2015 as a grassroots program designed to build communities by advancing the narrative of Black men through storytelling, intergenerational forums and community programs. Since its inception, MOC has hosted forums in five cities and reported more than 2,000 of its toolkit downloads across 34 cities throughout the United States.