SCHOOLS ACROSS the world are being asked to sign up to the Big Hair Assembly today (Jun 19) in order to tackle the ongoing spate of punishments and exclusions against children with Afro hair.
Supported by De Montfort University, global hair organisations and US influencer, Celai West, The World Afro Day® are all backing the campaign to “Fix Society not Hair.”
The Big Hair Assembly is the focal event of this years World Afro Day Schools, on September 13.
The assembly is hosted by Don’t Touch My Hair author Emma Dabiri and will be live streamed to schools internationally. The children will be joining together in a celebration of hair, identity and equality.
World Afro Day Founder and report author Michelle De Leon said: “Fix Society Not Hair” is the next step forward in the evolution of the natural hair movement.
“More countries need to follow the lead of NYC and protect the rights of children to have freedom to play, freedom to learn and freedom to work with their Afro hairstyles. The recent Hair Equality Report has shown that too many children are having their education damaged by discrimination. One in six children with Afro hair have a bad experience in UK schools.”
The event will raise awareness about hair bias through discussion, drama, dance and interactive activities. Students will learn critical thinking, empathy and empowerment.
The Big Hair Assembly will be a pioneering event, equipping teachers as well as giving children a voice to speak about the world they want to live in. A free resource pack and WAD Lesson plan are available to all schools.
Eleven-year-old US Influencer, West commented: “I am looking forward to working alongside WAD 2019 because I want to change the current negative views of Afro textured hair. I want ALL girls with ALL textures of hair to feel beautiful and to be treated fairly.”
Professor Sarah Younie, De Montfort University added: “As a professor of Education Innovation, it is crucial that we innovate to create change, which we can do through using digital technologies by connecting schools all around the world for the Big Hair Assembly.
“We can use this day to ‘be the change’ we want to see and to call for an end to discrimination.’’
Natural Hair Babes, Founder Louisa Michael said: “Hair is an undetachable part of one’s race and cultural identity. Therefore, we black people should be allowed to wear our God-given hair freely, without humiliation or harassment from any quarters.
“Based on this, we (700k) members of the Natural Hair Babes group, stand in full support with World Afro Day to speak out against any form of discrimination against any black person in any part of the world because they wear their hair in its natural form.”