Know Your Roots


KNOW YOUR ROOTS is a new project, generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, that will use mixed media technology to develop art work that celebrates the beauty of black hair.

Participants will embark on a super, kinky, curly exploration of the connections between heritage and hair. They will be given the opportunity to sharpen their creative skills and produce a vibrant online exhibition that celebrates the beauty of afro hair. They will also record their personal hair journeys for the London Metropolitan Archives and thereby, become part of London’s living history!

Click here to see the Know Your Roots website and the Gallery. Follow our Instagram Knowyourroots18.

Programme of work

PYL ran focus groups and the project leader led research where young people told us that they wanted to develop more understanding about the nature of afro hair and how to maintain it. Some young women explained that they appreciated their hair in its natural state but felt that it was not always appreciated by others and that there were some settings  they presumed would not allow them to wear their hair naturally, such as their place of employment. 


Engaging in the project will enable participants working on the project and the wider audience to understand that the presentation and texture of afro hair is determined by a natural structure of curl pattern not a fundamental flaw requiring correction.

Young people from diverse ethnic groups have expressed an interest in learning more about the geography of hair and how the texture evolved as a protective factor against harsh UV rays. Young, white British women talked about wanting to be able to understand more about the hair of family members who have African ancestry. By definition members of a Diaspora are unrooted; this project will provide an opportunity for young people to feel more grounded in themselves by developing a greater level of knowledge about their heritage and ancestry.

Resources and research

Upcoming Events

  • Intersectionality – ‘BACKTALKING’
    London School of Economics
    25 Jul 2019, 16:00 – 20:00
    London School of Economics, Graham Wallas Room, 5th Floor of London School of Economics’ Old Building (OLD.5.25), 2AE
    Partnership for Young London is being hosted by the Gender Studies Department at the London School of Economics to deliver a follow up event for women of the African Diaspora.

Contact Us

Sandra Vacciana


Improving Practice Lead


Telephone: 020 7332 3599

Location: Partnership for Young London, City of London, Guildhall, London EC2V 7HH


Postal: Partnership for Young London, City of London, PO Box 270, Guildhall, London EC2P 2EJ

Charity registration number: 1062226

Company Limited by Guarantee: 3334117 

Due to the current pandemic with COVID 19, for a period we will not be charging membership for the weekly update and will therefore be sending it to our monthly update list.


You can use the form below to sign up or you can also sign up using this link Do feel free to distribute this link throughout your networks.