World Afro Legacy is a new charity and the first global charity dedicated to ending race-based hair discrimination, The charity builds on from the work started by World Afro Day but extends it to an all-year-round mission to embrace Afro hair and end hair discrimination through education, awareness events, campaigns and research. We hope you can join us!

The World Afro Legacy – Aims

Reach 10,000 Schools and 10 million youth through our Little and Big Hair Assembly events and resources. Empowering learners and equipping teachers for Afro hair inclusion.

Raise awareness with the public, workplaces and policy makers to help end hair discrimination.

Create a World Afro Day charity single to empower people with Afro hair and inspire empathy from other people and turnaround negative attitudes.

Help us reach
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Schools
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Youth
We want to a create new legacy for Afro hair.
Children aged 2-10 years
Ripping & Cutting

It’s a sad state that when you google ‘child’s hair ripped from the scalp’ or ‘cornrow ripped daycare’ that you find several  shocking images and stories of black girls as young as 2 years old, whose hair has been painfully ripped out! Unfortunately it doesn’t just happen in America, black children in the UK have had their dreadlocks cut off without parental permission too!

Name Calling

Name calling unfortunately is part of bullying but hostile reactions to Afro hair is steeped in racism, especially the comparisons to animals. A ten years-old girl in the UK was called a “dog” and “wild animal,” simply because she chose to wear her Afro hair out at school. Read the full story here. However, we love how name calling was turned around by this teacher in Brazil.

Isolation & Rejection

Isolation is a common form of punishment in schools but punishing children for Afrocentric hairstyles affects their identity and could be indirect discrimination. 5 years old Josiah said that he ‘didn’t want to be black anymore’ after he was sent home from school because his hair was considered too short by his Primary school. See his story here.

Youth aged 11-16 years
Braids

Braids are one of the most common hairstyles worn in the black community and the heritage dates back thousands of years in African history.  However we are sorry to report that as of September 13th 2022 the two girls pictured have been expelled from a rural Australian school. This story started a few months ago when the girls were suspended because of a disagreement with their school about tying back their braids at school all day. The family say that this request was causing them pain and discomfort and now it has escalated to expulsion based on other minor infractions.  We have approached the school for comment. Amayah is months away from her year 11 exams but now she has no place to take these exams and no longer has acess to her study materials. The family are looking for any legal assistance and help with the Australian Education system. In the run up to World Afro Day  2022 there were also two other UK cases involving boys in their first week of school. This is a global issue with children being asked to remove braids  or be penalised in many different countries e.g. USA UK and New Zealand. These are just some of the headline stories but so many children face this in their schools, year after year. Our charity wants to end this.

Fades

Fades and skin fades are a traditional haircut for black boys (some girls) and are generally considered smart and conventional for the majority of people across the African diaspora.  Starkly this hairstyle can be labelled extreme in many school settings. This story was featured in the Hair Equality Report: Emmanuel Sackey was removed from classes because his hair was too short. Celestine Sackey-Clarke says her son Emmanuel, 15, was left traumatised. She wrote a letter of complaint and the hair policy was resolved but without an apology for the anxiety caused. Punishments for fade haircuts have been going on for decades in the UK. This is a classic case of unfairly applying a hair policy designed for straight hair to pupils with Afro hair. The fade and skin fade style looks completely different on these two contrasting groups.

Afros & Locs

Ruby Williams was repeatedly sent home because of her Afro hair. She received £8,500 in an out-of-court settlement after her family took legal action against the school with support from the EHRC.

2021 Pimlico Academy students staged a mass protest against their school leaderships and cited a ban on hairstyles which could “block the views” of other pupils in class.

Another protest over hairstyles which highlighted the global struggle for Afro hair was at The Pretoria Girls High School protest in 2016. Afro hair in school, shouldn’t be a battlefield with children’s mental health the collateral damage.

Afro Hair and Legal discussion

Two 15 years old boys, from the UK were removed from their classes by school staff and taken to a local barber to get their hair cut against their will and without parental permission. Founder of World Afro Day, Michelle De Leon discusses this with Barrister Laith Dilaimi at the Teaching: Diversity & Inclusion Panel event 2022.

The Workplace & Afro hairstyles
Professionalism is not a hairstyle

Studies and centuries of experience consistently show that black people are discriminated against when they wear hairstyles that are Afrocentric instead of Eurocentric. Essentially there is a bias towards straight hair if you are Black woman and very short if you are a Black man. Wearing Afros, braids and locks are often considered as rebelling or being political, but these are just regular hairstyles for African descendants. Black people are held up to a European standard of presentation in the workplace which has become synonymous with ‘professionalism’ and the idea that certain hairstyles are professional, most disadvantages black women. Beyond the pressure to conform to these ideals is also the ordeal of having hair touched without permission, which is particularly discriminatory in a workplace setting. Listen to the story below.

My Hair, My Space

This is an interview audio recording about hair touching and other workplace incidents.

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World Afro Legacy

The World Afro Legacy aims to pool resources as a charity to tackle Afro hair discrimination on a global scale. We believe because of technology and social media that we are in unprecedented times to be able to do good things quickly. Instead of one employee trying to overcome and explain Afro hair discrimination in their workplace; they can signpost them to this charity, an organisation that raises awareness with the public, workplaces and policy makers on a consistent basis. World Afro Day has a history of purpose, credibility and results, which the charity can progress to all year round campaigning. Having charitable status is important to overcoming the suffering that black and mixed-parentage people experience, simply because they have Afro textured hair. The mission is to embrace Afro hair and end hair discrimination through education, awareness events, campaigns and research.

If every person who has experienced Afro hair discrimination and every person who wanted to see it end, gave us just one pound or dollar, we would have millions in the fund to create change and have a bigger impact!

Inclusion Update

The Afro Inclusion Update is a simple tool that can challenge Afro hair discrimination and is particularly aimed at people who may not understand this issue yet.

It is simple to use with ten action points to help make a change. 

Find out more by clicking the button below.

Pioneering Afro hair inclusion
2017

Inaugural World Afro Day endorsed by the UN

2017
2017

Recordsetter World Record

2017
2018

Ogilvy Campaign, global school lesson, World Afro Day Awards

2018
2018

Speech at UN Geneva

2018
2019

Hair Equality Report

2019
2019

Big Hair Assembly Launch

2019
2020

Top Ten Model Competition

2020
2019

World Afro Day Live, 5 speakers from 5 continents and translated into Brazilian Portuguese

2019
2021

Big Hair Assembly returns and expands

2021
2021

Little Big Hair Assembly launched, Lux Life Global Excellence Award

2021
2021

Stylist Magazine names World Afro Day Historic Afro hair Moment

2021
2022

BETT Awards Finalists

2022
2022

Teaching: Diversity & Inclusion Report

2022
2022

World Afro Legacy

2022
2022

Afro Inclusion Update

2022