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Black Hair + Storytelling as a Form of Social Activism

March 2 @ 9:00 am 10:00 am MST

As of October 2022, 19 states have passed the CROWN Act, groundbreaking legislation which bans discrimination in schools and the workplace of natural Black hair and other Afrocentric hairstyles; Black students are disproportionately disciplined for wearing Afrocentric hairstyles, and Black employees are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work for their hair. The demonization of Black hair as a marker of anti-Blackness has forced the Black community into a complex and often traumatic relationship with our hair. As our education should always extend past the classroom walls, it is crucial for students to engage in thought-provoking discussions about beauty standards, about gender, about race, about identity, and, of course, about Black hair, which stands at the intersection of all these topics.

This event will discuss St. Clair Detrick-Jules’ four-year-long journey photographing and interviewing 101 Black women with natural hair for her photojournalism book, “My Beautiful Black Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood,” a large-scale visual anthropology exploring the deep, complex relationships across generations between Black women and their hair that Kirkus Reviews calls “compelling and inspirational … a powerful celebration of self-acceptance and sisterhood.”

From the impact of historical anti-Blackness in the Dominican Republic to discussions about the politicization of the afro and its relationship to the Black Lives Matter movement, this event will challenge attendees to think about the ways in which they can use hair as an entry point into other related topics, including (but not limited to) self-love, anti-Blackness, healing from racial trauma, feminism, and community relationships. Lastly, participants will explore a blueprint for using storytelling — whether by speaking up themselves or passing the mic to others — as a form of social activism.

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Women's Week 2023, Making Public Policy Personal

Women’s Week 2023: Making Public Policy Personal

This event is part of Women’s Week: February 27 – March 3, 2023.

Women’s Week is an annual, weeklong event focused on gendered issues and challenges faced in today’s socioeconomic and political climate, intersectionality, and cultural movements. Women’s Week 2023 events will investigate when public policy becomes personal, and explore what this means for us as individuals, citizens, and participants in a diverse democracy.

Women’s Week 2023 is planned in partnership with various organizations across the University of Utah and sponsored by Domo, Inc. logo


portrait of St. Clair Detrick-Jules

St. Clair Detrick-Jules

Author & Photojournalist

St. Clair Detrick-Jules is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer, author, activist, and public speaker. She captures personal stories and intimate moments centering Black liberation, immigrant justice, and women’s rights. An Afro-Caribbean artist who remains rooted in her community, St. Clair grounds her work in radical love, joy and the knowledge that a more just world is possible.

St. Clair has a BA from Brown University in French and Francophone Studies. She has been featured in The Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, BuzzFeed News, The Christian Science Monitor, Byrdie, and NPR’s Strange Fruit, among others. Her documentary DACAmented has received awards at Immigration Film Fest, Baltimore International Black Film Festival, Ogden City Latino Film Festival, and Cornell University’s Centrally Isolated Film Festival. Her book My Beautiful Black Hair (Chronicle Books, September 2021) showcases the photographs and stories of Black women embracing their crowns. St. Clair currently resides in her hometown of Washington, DC.

Women’s Week Planning Committee

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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

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