The inaugural World Afro Day (WAD) takes place on Friday 15th September 2017, at Church House in the heart of Westminster – with the aim of celebrating the beauty and value of natural hair. WAD celebrates afro hair, educating people about it and helping to highlight its unique position globally. To top it all off, World Afro Day is now officially endorsed by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
This follows increasing international support from academics, the London Mayor’s office, natural hair influencers, Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber and celebrity hair stylists Felicia Leatherwood and Charlotte Mensah.
WAD works with all ethnicities to promote positive attitudes to Afro hair, with core themes of unity, celebration and education. WAD teaches children and adults to love their natural hair, beauty and identity; creating a positive sense of well-being. WAD embraces Afro hair as: natural, kinky, curly hair types of African descent.
This is an opportunity to change the often-negative perceptions that exist around afro hair with an event that people of all backgrounds and hair types can enjoy.
The WAD team will be attempting a World Record Setter for the ‘Largest Hair Education Lesson’ at the event in London, England.
Five hundred children of all backgrounds will take part in the largest hair education lesson, which will also be live streamed across the world via social media.
Coming together on one day is a way of putting the spotlight on bias against afro hair and doing something about it. Of course there is a fun element with World Records plus music and hair demos, but most importantly a serious message of inclusion, equality and change!
We want no limitations to be placed on people of African descent, whether they choose to be a ballerina, sit on the board or run for Prime Minister!
World Afro Day is about changing the negative issues surrounding our hair into positive celebration!
It’s a day to enjoy yourself but leave changing the world! Tickets are free to children and students for the record event only. There is also a paid adult hair event show in the evening.
Free registration via Eventbrite with student ID required on the day.
On September 15th 2016, a law was created against an Afro type hair in America. Anyone with dreadlocks could be denied a job!
A federal appeals court ruled it OK for employers to deny employment to those with dreadlocks, therefore making employment discrimination against dreadlocks legal. Chasity Jones and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC ) brought the lawsuit against Catastrophe Management Solutions of Mobile, Alabama. EEOC explained, “dreadlocks are a manner of wearing the hair that is physiologically and culturally associated with people of African descent”. However, the final ruling by was based on if the hairstyle was a physical trait that could be changed. U.S. Circuit Judge Adalberto Jordan said “We recognize that the distinction between immutable and mutable characteristics of race can sometimes be a fine (and difficult) one, but it is a line that courts have drawn,” with a further explanation… “So, for example, discrimination on the basis of black hair texture (an immutable characteristic) is prohibited by Title VII, while adverse action on the basis of black hairstyle (a mutable choice) is not.” Further details of the ruling can be read here
World Afro Day has an affinity with the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent
programme, which works towards tackling the challenges of over 200 million people globally, who identify themselves as of African descent. This group often suffers discrimination based on their heritage and World Afro Day aims to tackle the issue of bias against afro hair which has been previously overlooked.
Let World Afro Hair Day be the change!
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