VICTORY! For years, our Center has worked, both publicly and behind the scenes, to secure an important and symbolic freedom for Rhode Island families. During the last moments of the 2019 General Assembly session, lawmakers voted to exempt natural hair braiders from the occupational licensing requirement for hairdressers and cosmeticians within the state.
This licensing burden is especially harmful to many people who would prefer to start new careers and earn paychecks instead of receiving welfare checks.
Oppressive Regulations Harm Low Income Families. Hair braiding is a generational and practical African-style art-form for Rhode Islanders like Jocelyn DoCouto and her family, which hail from Senegal and Cape Verde.
Yet, unable to afford the burdensome levels of fees and training required to receive permission from the government to legally work in a field that presents no safety risks, Jocelyn, as well as other would-be entrepreneurs, were not able to operate a business that would provide them hope to achieve financial independence.
Now, as a result of the work of our Center and many others, families can like Jocelyn’s can dream of building a better life with one less government burden in their way.