Milan Danny was in a difficult situation a year ago. Ignoring the governor’s extended stay order, Danny reopened the Milan King’s Barbershop in Sao Paulo in early May 2020, while insisting that he can safely cut using a mask, a Barbicide-sterilized comb, and other precautions he shared at the time. The hair is in a proposal submitted to the Minnesota Barber Examination Board and the Minnesota Beautician Examination Board.
It is not clear how much impact his efforts have, but the state allows salons with COVID plans to reopen on June 1.
By September of last year, his annual Frogtown backpack giveaway event held since 2015 was restarted, but he did not provide the usual free haircuts for young people returning to school. Turnout was lower than expected, even with hamburger picnics and members of the National Black Caucus of Minnesota Truck Drivers holding bounce houses across the street.
It’s time to give back
Danny remained indifferent. He recently hired his fourth hairdresser, and after running it alone for a few months, his shop was fully staffed.
“It’s better now,” Danny said on Monday. “We did a great job.”
Now is the time to give back.
It’s Our Neighborhood is a youth guidance non-profit organization Dennie established jointly with the Milan King’s Barbershop. It will give away 300 to 500 backpacks again at 511 University Ave. W. from 9 am to 6 pm on Monday, September 6th. People of any school age can get a haircut for free.
Target donated backpacks. Hamburgers and hot dogs are back on the grill. It’s Our Neighborhood will take this opportunity to showcase Danny’s youth gathering place in the basement below the store, where Danny himself will teach entrepreneurship courses up to four times a week.
The course E-Seedling was founded by Julie Unwood, an educator in Madison, Wisconsin, and this is how Danny offered various courses. He grew up in the poverty of a single-parent family in Gary, Indiana. “They don’t have this kind of conversation at home,” said Danny, who has enough space to work with about 10 young people at the same time. “I know I don’t. (Mom) knows common sense—going to school and getting good grades—but she has never bought a house or ran a business.”
Others come forward to help
Others have stepped up to help. UPS has signed up as a financial sponsor. A UPS contact active in the National Black Truck Drivers Caucus plans to recruit young workers once a week while teaching them career preparation and college opportunities. Danny hired a chess master to teach chess. He is currently interviewing college students who can serve as academic tutors.
He is talking about hiring young people for landscaping work with the Neighborhood Development Center, which is building a new mixed-use building on Dale Street and University Avenue. He is envisioning field trips and basketball games, visiting car cinemas, and speaking about how to write a business plan.
On Tuesday, Danny gave a funding presentation to the Bush Foundation. He also accepts donations from the public.
By mid-September, It’s Our Neighborhood hopes to be open every day.More information online itourneighborhood.com.