Updated: Jun 22, 2021
The UK's first black hair code has officially been launched to help end discrimination in schools and the workplace
The Halo Code is a campaign pledge launched by a group of young activists that aim to provide “freedom and security to wear all afro-hairstyles without restriction or judgment”. Schools and workplaces are being asked to sign up to the code with the hopes that it will help put an end to hair discrimination in the UK.
The group behind The Halo Code, named The Halo Collective, was founded by a group of 30 young Black activists who were a part of a Social Justice Youth Organising Movement called The Advocacy Academy. The Advocacy Academy being a group "for young people from South London who are passionate about creating a more fair, just and equal society."
The Halo Collective sees a collection of organisations coming together to combat hair discrimination with the first item on their agenda being the all important Halo Code which they hope will result in positive change regarding hair discrimination - All the members of the collective have said to have experienced themselves first hand.
Despite The Equalities Act becoming law back 2010 which made showing bias against anyone with hairstyles associated with their race, ethnicity and cultural identities illegal, its evident that its still a huge problem in the UK. Surveys highlighted by The Halo Collective include statistics showing that more than half of Black students have experienced some form of discrimination about their hair in school and that 46% of parents have said that their Childs school uniform regulations target those with afro-textured hair. But unfortunately the problem doesn't only lie amongst children and in schools, with 1 in 5 Black Women stating that they have felt some kind of societal pressure to straighten their hair or tailor it to look more Eurocentric.
One of the first company's to step up and pledge to The Hair Code is Unilever, who are one of the largest employers in the UK. In a statement said by the HR Vice President of the company Richard Sharp on behalf of the company, he declared that Unilever believes "the individuality of hair should be celebrated" and described the company's decision to support The Hair Code as "a vital step in the fight to ensure racial justice and racial equity for the next generation.” Given the fact such a large and popular company have already taken steps the support the campaign, it remains hopeful that other businesses and place of education will follow suit.
The work The Halo Collective have done in bringing about The Halo Code holds great importance and we hope that as many organisations as possible will show their support for the cause and sign the pledge to help put an end to hair discrimination amongst schools and the workplace!
For more information you can check out The Halo Collective's website. Simply click here!