An MBA candidate at the University of the District of Columbia says he was banned from attending the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) conference due to his hairstyle.
Tamon George created a Change.org petition in hopes of eliminating the discriminatory practice implemented by the fund that bans dreadlocks.
As an MBA student at the University of the District of Columbia, I have maximized every opportunity to advance my academic and professional career by remaining active in almost every facet of the campus experience. I currently serve as the President of the Graduate Student Government Association and participate in several judicial committees governing the University. As a student leader, I strive to represent the voices of all students to affect positive change in the University. At this point, however, I must represent myself, and possibly hundreds of other Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCUs) students across the United States who have been unfairly discriminated against.
On October 7th, I was accepted to attend the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) – Leadership Institute. The conference, comprised of approximately 500 of the brightest students from the 47 HBCUs, is scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. November 9-13, 2014. The goal of this conference is to provide students with leadership training and job and internship opportunities with many of the nations Fortune 500 companies. Based on my academic, extracurricular activities, leadership roles and strong professional decorum, I was deemed qualified to attend the conference. After my acceptance, I was then informed that I had been disqualified based on my physical appearance. I was informed that The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has instituted a ban of “Dreadlocks” for male participants of the conference. Thus, my invitation to attend the conference would be contingent upon the removal of my hair. Given that I wear my hair in the same manner as my father – serving as a representation of my cultural identity, heritage, and spirit, I feel it is highly discriminatory and sexist to make such a ruling.
George contends that by upholding the practice, TMCF is perpetuating a very narrow image of black male leaders.
Click here to sign the petition.
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