Day 10: "Braids aren't extreme, they're a part of our culture"

Not every campaign is about changing the world, many are about changing the little things that affect people in their everyday lives - here is a great example of creating change in local communities for the better.

Is braided hair extreme?

That’s what one mum asked when her daughter’s school informed her that braids violated strict uniform policy and would have to be removed.

Fulston Manor School had a strict policy that listed ‘extreme haircuts’ as unacceptable but, when looking at the policy in detail, Leanne Sullivan found that ‘extreme’ included ‘hair extensions’ and ‘braiding’; two styles that are often used by black and mixed race pupils.

Leanne launched her petition asking that this definition of ‘extreme’ be changed as it contravened another school policy on equality & diversity. She argued that in recent years, black and mixed race pupils had opted to stop chemically straightening their hair and instead embrace more natural and culturally significant techniques such as braiding.

In a few short days, Leanne and her 32,000 supporters had got the school to delete ‘braiding’ and ‘hair extensions’ from it’s policy and allow Leanne’s daughter to keep her braids.

Leanne said "Running the campaign on meant my voice was heard locally and globally. The support was overwhelming and helped to SECURE THE CHANGE I wished to see."