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Busta’s Person of the Week: Barbershops in Winston-Salem has an angel

Felecia Bennett-Giles

Busta’s Person of the Week: Barbershops in Winston-Salem has an angel
January 10
09:38 2019

By Busta Brown

The hot topics in most Barbershop are sports, entertainment, sex and life, but when Felecia Bennett-Giles walks into one of the 22 barbershops she visits; she adds another topic. Giles is the Senior Civic Engagement Specialist for United Health Center, located next to the Market Place Mall in Winston-Salem, and the topic of sex is not taboo when she walks into the barbershops, “you’ll be surprised what they asked me,” she said as she loses her composure roaring with laughter. 

She finally gained her composure, and with a very concerned expression, Felecia continued, “I go to the barbershop because more black men die from prostate cancer than any other race, and it’s 99 percent curable and I want to talk to black men about that. And where can I find some black men – in a barbershop. I have a very captive audience because no one is going to get up and get out the chair and not listen to me.” She visited over 20 barbershops, and has developed a great relationship with the owners, barbers, and patrons, “when I walk into the shop, they turn the music down and say ‘listen to Ms. Felecia’. I talk to them about the importance of going to the doctor, so they can do all the things they need to do to stay healthy and alive.”

Giles said she really pushes that black men not wait until symptoms, “because one of the main symptoms are no symptoms, so it’s very important that they get checked annually. I understand that the process is very uncomfortable for men.” She gives a sweet smile and then said, “my husband made that clear. I tell the men in the shop that one minute a year can save your life, so please take that one minute. After my consistent visits, a lot of the barbers have done the prostate exams and then encouraged their customers to go.” Another perk to Ms. Felecia visits to the barbershops, “I bring fruit and of course the guys love that.”

I asked the beautiful Civic Engagement Specialist what inspired her to take such a bold move going to barbershops. She said, “Because so many men are dying and they don’t have to. And addition to that, my father had prostate cancer; he’s gone to heaven now. So that gave me more passion to get the information out to other black men.”

Giles visits recreation centers and attend community events as well. “We should treat every day as if it is our last because one day it will be,” she said.

Felecia Bennett-Giles has worked in different forms of education and outreach for over twenty years. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Human Relations from High Point University and a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University. At United Health Centers, Bennett-Giles focuses her energy on educating, informing and motivating individuals about UHC.

Make sure you go to our YouTube channel to see more of this very informative interview.

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