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Joan Each Rowan has no idea how many people her salons have helped throughout the years.

The evidence, however, quietly speaks for itself.

You can see it in the disappearing "how to get help" brochures off the counter. You'll spot it on tab flyers that hang on a wall or bulletin board — the ones where you tear off a strip with a number to call.


"Those need to be replaced — and often," says Rowan, who owns the two Everything's Relative salons on Chicago's south side.

Photo via Everything's Relative Salon, used with permission.

For the past 20 years, Rowan has been pushing for her salon to be a place where people get help with more than just their hair. With assistance from advocates committed to ending domestic violence, she's been teaching her stylists what to do (and what not to do) if they suspect or know a client is being abused at home.She also places resources, like the brochures, in discreet areas of her businesses, such as the bathroom, for clients to take with them if they need help.

Now, the stylists at Everything's Relative Salons have become unlikely warriors in the fight against domestic abuse. Soon, every other stylist in Illinois will be too.

Illinois just became the first state to require that all licensed beauty professionals take an hour-long course on how to spot domestic abuse.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2017, new cosmetologists will have to take the course in order to obtain their license, as the Chicago Tribune reported. The training will also be folded into continuing education requirements stylists must complete every two years to renew their credentials.

Although Rowan wasn't the first or only salon professional to implement her own training without a law telling her to do so, Everything's Relative has been at the forefront of the issue for decades, having realized the important connection between the seriousness of domestic abuse and the simplicity of getting a haircut.

We at Everything's Relative would like to wish you and your family a Happy Holiday 🎁❄🎄☃🎅🏼🎁

Posted by Everything's Relative Oak Lawn on Saturday, December 24, 2016

Domestic abuse is an issue that no doubt affects many clients who walk through the doors at Everything's Relative — about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men in the U.S. experience violence at the hands of a partner at some point in their lifetime, according to nonprofit Chicago Says No More

The thinking behind the new law — which was brought before legislators by Chicago Says No More — is both obvious and clever.

"[Clients] tell you a lot," says Rowan, who's worked in the industry for 42 years. "People talk to their hairdressers."

When clients talk, proponents of the law say, it only makes sense that cosmetologists should be prepared to listen and respond accordingly, if a red flag should arise.

The law — an amendment to the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act of 1985 — wasput in motion by Illinois Rep. Fran Hurley and State Senator Bill Cunningham, who said his wife's experience as a stylist years ago inspired him to act.

“She told me stories about her clients providing details about terrible incidents,” he explained to the New York Times. “She offered a sympathetic ear. She was young at the time and did not know how to get them help.”

The law aims to leave no stylist feeling like Cunningham's wife had — helpless and with few resources to provide a client in need.

The training will help stylists feel empowered about speaking up — without crossing a line, according to Rowan.

First and foremost, stylists are not required to report incidents of violence and won't be held liable in any case involving a client — an important aspect of the law meant to protect beauty professionals.

The training will, however, teach them how to spot signs of abuse and suggest resources clients can access (such as nearby safe havens or numbers to call) while making sure to carry a judgement-free and caring demeanor.

A Paul Mitchell cosmetology school in McLean, Virginia. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

The course also outlines what stylists shouldn't do — like follow-up with their client on the suspected abuse the next time they visit the salon or try to counsel clients on their specific situations.

"We are not psychologists. We're not the cops," Rowan says. "But the sensitivity training will give the cosmetologists the confidence to be able to say, 'There's information in the bathroom over there if you need a hand,' or, 'You really don't need to put up with that.'"

"It's very, very important," Rowan says of the new law. "And I don't think it should stop with cosmetologists."

Similarly to how many workers are educated on sexual harassment or how to handle instances of discrimination in the workplace, it wouldn't be such a bad idea for other positions requiring a state license to get domestic abuse training too, she notes.

While Rowan can't guarantee everyone in the cosmetology industry will be on board with the new law — some have argued, for example, that the law puts unnecessary pressure on stylists to be crime-stoppers — she has no reason to think it won't be widely accepted: "I have not talked to a salon owner who has thought it was a bad idea."

"This is going to be great for everyone," Rowan says. "We live in a violent city. But violence begins at home."

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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