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Arlo Washington: Champion of Economic Justice in Little Rock

Meet Arlo Washington, a man whose journey embodies resilience, entrepreneurship, and a deep commitment to the community. Overcoming early adversity, Arlo not only established himself as a successful barber but also became a beacon of hope for the unbanked members of his community. His story, captured in the documentary "The Barber of Little Rock," showcases a life dedicated to economic justice and empowerment.



From Barber to Philanthropist:

Arlo Washington's path to success began with the loss of his parents, propelling him to attend barber college and open his own shop at a remarkably young age. However, his entrepreneurial spirit didn't stop there. Recognizing a need within his community, Arlo founded the Washington Barber College, becoming a mentor to aspiring barbers and positively impacting the lives of many.


People Trust Loan Fund: Bridging Financial Gaps:

Driven by a desire to uplift those facing financial hardships, Arlo took a significant step by establishing the People Trust Loan Fund. From medical emergencies to small business ventures, People Trust offers support and guidance, emphasizing financial education as a key component.


This nonprofit organization provides essential financial resources to community members struggling to secure loans from traditional banks.


The Documentary: "The Barber of Little Rock":

Arlo Washington's impactful work caught the attention of documentary directors John Hoffman and Christine Turner, who sought to shed light on the racial wealth gap. Through Arlo's story, the film explores the challenges faced by the Black community in Little Rock and their resilience in the face of adversity.


Acts of Resistance and Empowerment:

"The Barber of Little Rock" highlights not only the hardships faced by the community but also the acts of resistance and determination that define their spirit. Arlo's establishment of the People Trust Community Federal Credit Union, the first Black-owned bank in Arkansas, is portrayed as a powerful act of resistance against historical injustices and redlining practices.


Arlo's journey embodies the resilience required to overcome systemic challenges, fostering empowerment that will resonate for generations and leave a lasting impact on the economic landscape of Little Rock. His vision extends beyond the present, creating a financial institution that serves the underserved and lays the foundation for a future where opportunities are accessible for generations to come.


A Bank for the Community:

People Trust Community Federal Credit Union stands as a symbol of resistance and empowerment, serving a redlined neighborhood where no other bank operates. Arlo Washington's vision and determination led to the creation of this vital financial institution, marking a historic moment in Arkansas.


Arlo Washington's journey is one of triumph over adversity and a commitment to uplifting the community. As the documentary captures moments of resilience, determination, and success, it becomes clear that Arlo's impact extends far beyond the walls of his barbershop. He stands as a beacon of hope, proving that acts of resistance can pave the way for economic justice and empowerment. In Little Rock, Arlo Washington's legacy continues to shape a future where financial opportunities are accessible to all.


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