Styles 4 Kidz is a non-profit organization based in Chicago that helps "transracial" families care for and style the hair of their kids. Whether the parents have adopted kids with natural ethnic hair or have given birth to bi-racial children, this organization is helping bring families together through hair!
The founder and director, Tamekia Swint, started her company back in 2010 with only three clients and has since helped more than 500 families across the country.
BET spoke to Tamekia about her mission with Styles 4 Kidz.
Tamekia says, "We are committed to providing quality hair care education, resources, and services to families who are transracially adopting or fostering African-American children. We serve the children who have very specific needs in this community as well as biracial children, children in group homes and the medically challenged. Our goal is to create a safe space where children and families don't feel judged for their lack of knowledge about hair care. We also desire to create a community of support for these families by inviting African-American families to participate in our mission."
In the video below, Tamekia also explains that she saw this as an opportunity to empower the parents in something they’re not familiar with by saying, “Hair is important for African-American families because your hair is your crown,” she explains. “When you feel good about how you look, that propels you into the world as a productive citizen.”
Styles 4 Kidz non-profit consists of four programs: hands-on education and training workshops, which teaches men and women how to maintain and style afro-textured hair. Their courses start at beginners through advanced depending on your experience with a certificate given at the completion of the workshop.
There’s also a salon program where you can bring your children to get their hair done by stylists who specialize in natural ethnic hair. There's also an app, In Your City, which is a mobile pop-up salon service where experts will travel to your city to give training.
S4K also has an on-location program, referred to as the “heart and soul” of Style 4 Kidz, which partners placed with foster and group home children.
In Tamekia’s interview with the 60-Second Docs, she also said, “I see a mom feel like there’s no hope, here at S4K she has an environment of support.”
Parents and caregivers of biracial children are making strides with the help of this organization and other support groups. Recently, Serena Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohanian, tweeted that he applied to join several natural hair groups on Facebook in order to learn how to take better care of their daughter Olympia’s hair.
"Our goal is to invite others to participate beyond the state of Illinois. Many families have reached out to us from all over the U.S." says Tamekia. "Our goal is to create a safe space in other areas where families and children can grow and learn."
Tamekia’s organization would like to expand to help more families across the country. If you would like to make a donation, please click here.
(Photo: Image Source / Getty Images)