We have long equated Jean Paul Dejoria (known as JP) and his brand, Paul Mitchell Systems, with good ethics. The brand was founded on cruelty-free formulations and JP, with his former partner Paul Mitchell, spearheaded the making of a company that shouts out for those underprivileged through birth or lifestyle. Now they are first out of the blocks with a message about what action the company is taking to address potential shortcomings when it comes to dealing with systemic racism. Bravo.
This is their message:
We have spent the last week writing and rewriting a statement, attempting to find the words to make sure we said what we are trying to say in the most sensitive and yet impactful way we can. We were trying to get it right.
But the fact is, there are no right words you can put around how Black lives don’t have the same equity as white lives. There’s no right way to say that George Floyd was murdered by a racist police officer. We know that white privilege is very real. We know that being comfortable, and only saying things that are comfortable, is part of the problem.
So, while we want to be sensitive, while we want the world to know the thought and care that went in to creating the message that was supposed to go out —what really matters are the facts.
The facts are:
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Period. They not only matter, they are essential, beautiful and brilliant.
WE DON’T DO ENOUGH.
Simply said, it is clear to us that we don’t. It isn’t enough to have intention, we need firm action.
WE WILL ALWAYS LEARN AS WE GO.
We aren’t here to “get it right.” We want to serve our world, and the Black population, better. We want to know when we get it wrong.
WE ARE TAKING ACTION.
There is much work to be done, and elevating our Black community is officially a top priority for all the years to come. In the meantime, here are some things going into action NOW:
- We are forming an internal committee that will represent many diverse backgrounds in our company.
We want to know—not THINK we know— that they are being represented and their voices are being heard.
Ads, education, employment: there is no area of our world that this sweeping addition won’t affect.
- We have supported organizations since the beginning that serve marginalized communities. But providing aid,
though important, isn’t going to change the cycle! We are currently vetting organizations to support that help
give this community the opportunities they deserve.
- Internally, we are putting together different ways to provide opportunity for Black artists and future executives.
We need more Black voices on every level of our business, including executive. You will hear more on this as it
unfolds, but it is being worked on around the clock and is of huge importance.
- Our education program is being reexamined to create less divide, and to include all hair types as
standard learning, not specialized.
The fact is that some people will find this letter too harsh, some too vague. But to be the change we want to see, we are speaking to you as honestly and openly as we can in hopes that it will encourage others to do the same. Take the time to educate yourself, and speak. It doesn’t have to sound pretty, it doesn’t have to check all the boxes, and it’s okay to say that you don’t know. That is the only way to break this barrier down and start re-building, hand in hand. Just speak, and voice by voice, we can all shape our world into the one we want to leave behind. This isn’t the time to have our “company” speak—it’s a time for all of us to.
We stand with you in solidarity and with love,
JOHN PAUL DEJORIA, ANGUS MITCHELL, MICHAELINE DEJORIA
Here online you may browse our Portfolio section to find inspiration from the greatest hair artists… read our Blog to discover the top events and what we like about them, then visit our Magazine section to read the latest edition (and archive editions) of Tribu-te publications. If you’d like to enjoy your very own edition of Tribu-te delivered direct to your home – vist the Shop to order a subscription to arrive quarterly. And of course, once a year, you can visit the Tribu-te Show – it’s an awesome presentation of the leading hairdressers on the best stage possible in central London each October! Contact us if you have any questions or would like to submit photography and ideas for any of our editions in Europe – we’re particulary keen to see your salons for our Design section both in print and online.