World Afro Day (WAD) returns for its sixth instalment with a free new digital resource. The first release from the global movement’s new charity World Afro Legacy, the Afro Inclusion Update aims to educate the majority of people who may not understand the realities of hair discrimination and is a direct response to demands from adults and workplaces to address this pressing issue.
They are also building on the research conducted by WAD 2022 sponsors, Pantene UK, which showed 93% of Black people have suffered harassment, microaggressions and discrimination in relation to their natural hair. The free bitesize guide explains how hair discrimination permeates all facets of life – from nursery to the workplace – and offers 10 easy steps on how everyone can make a difference.
Michelle De Leon, Founder of World Afro Day, says: “We are making progress, but we still have a big job to raise awareness about Afro hair discrimination. People don’t recognise issues like hair touching as harassment so we must find a way to turn ignorance into inclusion. The free ‘Afro Inclusion Update’ will explain the basics and give people a simple way to do something to be part of the change.”
Created in 2017, World Afro Day quickly became a global movement with celebrities such as Janet Jackson, Viola Davis, Naomi Campbell, and Judi Love all taking part in the initiative. WAD 2022 has a STEM theme for the Little and Big Hair Assembly events hosted by Dr Zoe Williams and Yewande Akinola MBE including an excellent STEM Panel from top universities. WAD encourages people irrespective of gender and age to take pride in their hair and identity from a young age.
11-year-old Kyla Rose, a World Afro Day Ambassador said “I used to hate my Afro hair growing up because I wanted to look like Elsa from Frozen. I used to pull my hair out every day and hide it. Things started to change when my school included more Black culture and became a part of World Afro Day. Now I love my hair and I’m passionate about other children loving Afro hair too!”
World Afro Day continues to produce national research as well as contribute to new national resources aimed at preventing hair discrimination in schools, which was released today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Director of Regulation at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Jackie Killeen said: “As the equality regulator for Britain, we are committed to ensuring people have the tools to work towards a more equal and fair future.
“Unfortunately, some people experience hair discrimination in our society so it is vital that there is advice available to promote understanding and respect for difference.
“We are addressing this through our new resources for schools and welcome the support from all those who’ve helped to shape them.”
The sixth annual World Afro Day takes place on Thursday 15 September 2022. You can download the Afro Inclusion Update at www.worldafrolegacy.org