Best of Neighborhood News 8/22: Expos celebrate natural black hair and beauty, encourage wellness in beauty industry


Although the Twin Cities has an increasingly diverse population of people from different racial backgrounds, Minnesota has long been considered a “flyover” state for beauty products aimed at black and brown people. However, two new beauty expos, the Twin Cities Natural Hair Expo and the Shades of Beauty Expo, are changing the conversation around POCI beauty and wellness in the Twin Cities. The two expos brought beauty practitioners from around the country to the Twin Cities who are interested in creating a beauty landscape that reflects our communities, as well as discussing the health effects for folks using damaging chemical hair products to mimic European beauty standards.

“For so long, we have been left out of the discussion of what beauty looks like,” said Sherryln Thompson, Shades of Beauty Expo founder and producer. “We have been given image after image of blonde hair and blue eyes as a stereotype of beauty. And, when we don’t see ourselves reflected in that anywhere, then we tend to take a self-esteem hit and start to believe the hype that we are not worthy, that we’re not beautiful.”

Read more at Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.

Takoda Institute expands post-secondary programs for Native community

Recently, the American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center (AIOIC) has expanded and rebranded its programming for Takoda Institute, providing new kinds of vocational training to Native people and other marginalized groups. Their programs will help Native people acquire skills and certifications to find higher-paying jobs, including education opportunities to become a Digital Office Professional or Computer Support Specialist. In Minnesota, average income for Native people is nearly half the average income for white people, and programs like the Takoda Institute hope to narrow that gap.

“The use of Takoda was expanded beyond just the post-secondary school to help clients and potential clients understand that all of our support and education services are interconnected with one another,” said Brigit Boler, Marketing and Fundraising Specialist for AIOIC.

Get the full story at The Circle.

State Fair to feature a Mental Health Awareness Day

On Monday, August 27, the Minnesota State Fair will feature a Mental Health Awareness Day for the first time in the fair’s history. Organizations from around the state will spread resources including mental well-being assessments, legal advice on disability and mental health, bullying prevention, Medicaid resources and more.

Visit Access Press for more information on accessibility for the fair, including how to get there, accommodations while at the fair and disability ticketing for the fair’s many events.