Pantene has today announced its partnership with non-profit, creative education organisation, Ideas Foundation. Together, the organisations are launching a series of ‘Power of Hair’ lesson plans, which are free for educators to download, with the aim to close the Afro Hair cultural education gap and increase positive representation and understanding of Afro hair in schools.
A recent study by World Afro Day with Shift Insight on over 500 educators found that only half of teachers (52 per cent) have the confidence to openly discuss issues of race and ethnicity with students, and almost a third (29 per cent) said they were unable to correctly identify a scenario involving Afro hair discrimination1.
A further study by Pantene found that 9 in 10 Black people in the UK (93 per cent 2) have faced microaggressions related to their Afro hair, and school was highlighted as the most common place where the discrimination took place.
To help drive change, Pantene and Ideas Foundation have teamed up to create and implement a series of creative ‘Power of Hair’ workshops, focusing on raising awareness of Afro hair discrimination, promoting hair confidence, and equipping students with creative and essential skills, from team working to confidence building for the future.
Following rigorous testing and development, reaching 1,400 students across 24 schools throughout the UK, the ‘Power of Hair’ workshop material is now available as downloadable lesson plans (available here), designed to be woven into the curriculum for primary and secondary students across English, Humanities, Science, Art, Design and Marketing.
The ‘Power of Hair’ lesson plans are vital, and educators have one of the most important and influential roles in delivering these to students. Pantene and the Ideas Foundation are committed to working closely with teachers to offer training on the workshops to ensure these are being delivered to students sensitively and correctly, in addition to delivering a number of facilitated workshops in schools across the country over the next three years.
Dr Rolanda Wilkerson PhD, Pantene’s Principal Hair Scientist and Creator of the Pantene Gold Series collection said: “Our school years are a crucial period in our lives to form life-long foundations for confidence, self-love, and creativity. We are so proud to have worked on this important educational tool so that children with all hair types can have a full educational experience and we can work to reduce hair discrimination in the UK and beyond.”
Ideas Foundation CEO Heather MacRae, commented, “This project has given us an opportunity to work with hundreds of schools – using creative approaches to explore identity, discrimination and hair confidence through science, English, humanities, and art. Schools have loved the workshops we have offered.
Peter Thomas, National Association for the Teaching of English said: “We have been delighted to work on this project – giving young people the opportunity for creative writing and expression inspired by the topic of hair.”
Pantene is committed to helping more people have more great hair days and believes educating students across the UK to celebrate all hair types will help on that journey.
Dr Rolanda adds: “At Pantene, we believe everybody deserves to be celebrated and represented fairly, and without discrimination. The ‘Power of Hair’ workshops are an important part of empowering hair confidence in the future generation and reminding people that ‘everybody deserves a good hair day’.”
Educators can find the workshop lesson plans available to download now from the Pantene UK website (here), which also includes details on how schools can apply for a facilitated workshop as well as detail on how to enquire about the next ‘Power of Hair’ workshop teacher training session.