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Curls + The Workplace

  • CTRL Collective 33 S. Spring St. 4th floor Los Angeles, CA 90014 USA (map)

Curls + The Workplace | July 27, 2017

I think we can all agree that natural hair is here to stay. In the workplace however, natural hair isn’t always accepted. Ever heard the idea that natural hair is “unprofessional”? Ever battled with the notion to just conform to existing workplace standards? Or have you ever been on the receiving end of workplace commentary from your employer or coworkers about your hair? Not all of us have been in these situations. Some of us have had positive experiences, which is progress, but for others of us why does this still come up as an issue? Clearly natural hair in the workplace is still a hot topic and one that has yet to fully be embraced across the board.

We'll hear from an AMAZING panel of ladies as they join us for a chat to discuss curls + the workplace. They will share their personal experiences, perspectives, backgrounds and expert knowledge on the topic. Ever wonder what rights you have when it comes to your natural hair in the workplace? You’ll find out.

Come connect, meet new curl friends, get inspired and join in on the conversation!

This a FREE event but you must RSVP for entry. There will be light refreshments + give away! Space is limited.


  • 6:30pm - 7:30pm - Arrival window, check-in, mingle
  • 7:30pm - 8:30pm - Panel Discussion
  • 8:30pm - 9:00pm - Curly Q+A


  • CTRL COLLECTIVE | 33 S. Spring St. 4th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (Additional details at the bottom)


BROOK SITGRAVES | Raised on the mean streets of Cleveland, OH and an NCAA athlete at UC Berkeley, Brook traded in her spikes and love of photo finishes, discovering a new, but equally rewarding passion for writing and producing. Her short film, "Firefly," was selected as a part of Film Independent's 2015-2016 Project Involve Fellowship. She is a producer on documentaries: One Day I Too Go Fly and Naija Beta and she produces and co-hosts a podcast, Short & Sweet. Happily in year two of her natural hair journey, she's still baffled at the amount of time and conditioner required. She swears there've been rumors of a "wash'n'go," but she'll believe it when she sees it.

Twitter | Instagram-Podcast | Instagram


DR. VALYNCIA C. RAPHAEL, J.D. is the Director of Diversity, Compliance, and Title IX Coordinator at the Cerritos Community College District in Norwalk, California. There, she coordinates the College’s comprehensive equity, diversity, inclusion initiatives for over 23,000 employees and students. She also leads the College’s prevention of and response to gender and sex based discrimination, which includes responses to sexual harassment, stalking, sexual assault, and dating/domestic violence. Prior to this role, Dr. Raphael spent over a decade in Madison, WI where she played softball at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and earned her undergraduate, law, and doctorate degrees. Her PhD is in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, with research interests in equity issues in intercollegiate athletics. Earning dissertation of the year in her program, Dr. Raphael used intersectionality and critical qualitative methods to study the identity development and experiences of Black women competing in country club intercollegiate sports at a predominantly white institution. The study, titled Expanding the Single Story: Black Female Athletes Playing Country Club Sports at a NCAA Division I Predominantly White Institution, found 7 key findings. Most notably, all of the study participants, shared personal reflections of how their hair is tightly bound with their identity, and enabled deep reflection of the trials and triumphs of their sport and educational experiences. 

Dr. Raphael is a curly 3c natural since birth, except for an unfortunate texturizer mistake in law school. She is the oldest of four children, a proud US-born Trini and resides in Long Beach with her brother Glen and fiance Alex. 


TRACY SANDERS is an attorney, author, and speaker in Los Angeles, California. She earned a Juris Doctor degree at the Syracuse University College of Law in 2002, Master of Public Administration degree at the University of South Carolina in 1998, and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree at the University of South Carolina in 1995. Tracy enjoys yoga, traveling, and community service.

She is particularly interested in community service initiatives to help young people achieve their education and career goals. Tracy has made TV appearances on networks such as ABC, FOX, MSNBC, WE, and TLC.

LinkedIn | Website

CODIE ELAINE OLIVER is a wife, mom, and filmmaker. She is the director and co-creator of the upcoming docuseries Black Love (@BlackLoveDoc). Codie's a proud graduate of Howard University and the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC. Codie's curly hair journey began in college after having relaxers all her life and it was still a decade until she truly had the confidence to fully own being a curly girl. That meant that her curls weren't just for parties or vacation, but she remembers the day she consciously wore her hair natural at a new job. She hasn't looked back.



  • **PARKING: There are paid parking lots located on either side of CTRL Collective (817 S. Spring + 843 S. Spring). Please note that validation and hosted parking are NOT AVAILABLE at this time.

    Arrive early and read street parking signs for a chance to obtain street parking (free after 4 PM on weekdays).

    **ENTRY: Upon arrival, you will be buzzed it and will immediately check-in on the lobby level. Ctrl Collective is location on the 4th floor. There is both elevator and stair access. CurlTalks will be taking place on the upper level of Ctrl Collective (pictured above)

Earlier Event: May 21
One on One w/ Felicia Leatherwood
Later Event: September 27
The Platform