Benevole Inc. hosts First Annual Fundraiser

Yes, you all are quite lucky-two posts from your girl in one day!  And don’t get your hopes up, this is not related to the reunion…I’ve actually decided that’ll be my Way Back Wednesday post! 🙂  In any event, this post will highlight an organization that has become near and dear to me!

Benevole, Inc. is the brain child of George Slaughter, originally from Chicago.   George has always been in the business of giving back.  He and his parents began volunteering and serving the Chicago community when he was young.  After losing both parents, his father when he was 10 and his mother when he was 18, George kept that giving spirit.  During his undergrad years, he began working with orphans and continued this work after he graduated.  He started “Belk Cares” to raise awareness for orphans and was able to have his company host a Christmas party for kids instead of just giving the toys to faceless names.  He also hosted Families First in Atlanta each year he lived there.  Now in the District, George has decided to continue his philanthropic work.  To find out more about the event, read below.  And don’t forget to purchase your ticket.  This is sure to be an event you don’t want to miss!

Contact: LaToya Grant

E-mail: latoya.grant@benevoleinc.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BENEVOLE, INC. HOSTS FIRST ANNUAL FUNDRAISER

Benevole, Inc. is hosting its First Annual “Walk-a-Mile in Someone’s Shoes” Fundraiser and Cocktail Social on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at Hotel Rouge (1315 16th St. NW, Washington, DC) from 7-11 pm.  The donation per person is $25, and the evening includes heavy hors d’ouvre and an open bar.  High heel shoes are mandatory for men and women.  No photography will be allowed, and all cell phones will be checked at the door.  In keeping true with the organizations mission of meeting the operational needs of existing non-profits, 100% of the proceeds from the event will go to N Street Village, which empowers low-income and homeless women to achieve their highest quality of life by offering various services to its clients.

According to Co-Founder and President George L. Slaughter, Benevole, which is French for “volunteer”, hopes “to raise awareness about existing non-profits” and “desires to become the bridge between the benefactor and the beneficiary”. Slaughter created Benevole to give back to the community.  The organization has four pillars on which they focus-women, children, homelessness, and health.  Tickets for the event can be purchased from this site http://www.benevoleinc.org/Events.html and must be secured by September 30.  For more information regarding Benevole, Inc., please visit the website at www.benevoleinc.org.

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If you would like more information regarding Benevole, Inc. or the above mentioned fundraiser, please contact LaToya Grant, Director of Communications, at latoya.grant@benevoleinc.org

Is Natural Hair Professional in the Workplace?

 

Natural Hair in the Workplace

 

Happy Tuesday!  I know you’re wondering how the reunion was…Well, it was great! Everyone had a lovely time, caught up with old friends, and looked great!  It was like 10 years hadn’t even passed!  As I try to recouperate from this weekend, we have a guest blogger today.  Veronique George of Naturally You-The Hair Journey has written a post today regarding natural hair in the workplace.  For those of you that don’t know, I am natural and struggled with my decision initially in regards to how it would be received when I worked in corporate America.  So, enjoy the post, feel free to comment and share your experiences (good and bad), and definitely check out Veronique’s blog!

Watching me, watching me

Watching me, watching me

Watching me, watching me

Watching me

AH
And you keep sayin’ that I’m free

And you keep sayin’ that I’m free

And you keep sayin’ that I’m free…

Many times African-American and other multicultural women who wear their hair natural are not considered professional or conservative in the work place. Instead of embracing natural hair, businesses sometimes shun, or even discourage, it. After working in some of Corporate America’s top companies, I believe that natural hair is not accepted in the workplace because employers and their employees do not know what to make of it. They look at natural hair and think, “Why is it so curly? Why does it look like that?  Why can’t they comb their hair?” Most companies have an idea of what professionalism is, and most times it does not include tightly or loosely coiled curls, braids, two-strand twists, and the like. It does not look like a large afro or even an afro puff tilted to the side. Rather, professionalism is limited to the constraints of long, straight hair and even pulled back in a pony tail depending on how conservative the company may be.

Long, straight hair may be a preference even if you are natural. That is fine if women choose to do so because they want to. However, a work environment that only accepts or encourages that particular hairstyle may not be a healthy situation for natural hair wearers or the company. I have heard a lot of women say to me that they have considered going natural for a long time, but they have to wait or they just cannot do it right now for whatever the reason may be. It is very disheartening to know that women want to wear their natural hair, but are afraid because they may lose their jobs or even credibility from their counterparts. Natural hair is not a rebellious act of free speech or entitlement; it is your hair, my hair, our hair. It is an extension of the divine will of the Most High and there is nothing unprofessional about that. Our hair is an extension of who we are, our adornment. Our intricate styles dates back to Zulu women of the Congo region and beyond and celebrate our rich history.

Rather than shying away from women with natural hair, businesses have to learn to embrace them. In doing so, they embrace themselves, by embracing their consumers and the world as we know it. Diversity of thought, culture, and even hair should be supported and celebrated. Work place environments should reflect the colorful DNA of the world and reflect the neighborhoods, grocery stores, beauty parlors, and shopping centers where companies conduct business.

Natural hair is here to stay. It is beautiful, it is professional, it can and cannot be “conservative.” It must become standard that when businesses hire minorities, including African-American women, they hire their hair as well. Now this does not mean women can nor should come to work without putting their best foot forward and properly caring for and maintaining their hair. But a job offer should not be contingent on the conditional statement: we will hire you if and only if you do something with your hair. Professionalism relates to the expertise and know-how you bring to the table, how you conduct yourself in business settings, and a well-kept appearance. Women with natural hair should not be watched, scoped, demoted, or considered not to be a “good-fit” in the workplace. Instead, they should be able to freely and unapologetically wear their natural hair tresses.

Veronique George, is a marketing and advertising consultant. She is also a natural hair consultant. Her blog, “Naturally You: The Hair Journey,” can be found at: http://www.hairspiration.webs.com.