In the latest episode of “The Vaccine, In Our Words,” see how Baltimore barber Kennard Perry is creating a space for his customers to talk – and listen – to the concerns, questions and debate around the COVID-19 vaccine. Perry knows that in addition to providing beard trims, fades and touch-ups, his role in the community is also to create a judgment-free zone where people can speak freely.
The story is part of a series of seven short documentary films sponsored by Walgreens featuring people and communities struggling with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. The films, which premiered on YouTube, were made by filmmakers David McLain and John Fox of Slipstream, in collaboration with Walgreens’ marketing team.
McLain said one of the key questions he and the crew had asked themselves at the outset of the project was: How do you change someone’s mind about something? In this episode, see how Perry attempts this through his masterful skill as an active listener, letting hesitant customers talk it out and work through their lingering concerns about getting vaccinated.
“When the filmmakers screened an early cut of this episode with us, the scene was instantly recognizable to me,” says Darion Cranfield, chair of Walgreens’ African American Leadership business resource group and part of a feedback group that helped bring the films to life. “The barber shop is where you go for these kinds of conversations – it’s where I go to talk through issues like this with people I know will listen to what I have to say.”
Watch as Perry holds court at his shop in the latest episode: