Target: Six Flags CEO, Jim Reid-Anderson
Goal: Reform hiring practices at Six Flags to include employees with dreadlocks.
Six Flags Theme Parks do not employ people with dreadlocks or other “extreme” hairstyles. Many African American women wear their hair in dreadlocks in order to tame a natural, unprocessed style. Please sign this petition and let Six Flags know their discriminatory hiring policies are not acceptable.
In the most recent case against Six Flags, 21-year-old Markeese Warner, a senior at Pennsylvania State University, was told she would not be eligible for employment due to her dreadlocks. Warner had arrived on time for her interview dressed in appropriate business attire; however, upon seeing her dreadlocks, she was told the interview was cancelled. Warner had tied her hair into a neat ponytail for the interview. This is not the first time African American women have been discriminated against by Six Flags hiring policies. In 2010, 23-year-old Janet Bello and 60-year-old Jackie Sherrill were both denied employment because of their dreadlocks.
Six Flags issued the following statement to ABC News regarding its hiring practices: “Six Flags enforces a conservative grooming policy across all parks. The policy does not permit certain hairstyles such as variations in hair colors, dreadlocks, partially shaved heads, tails, and hairstyles that impair vision. Braided hair is allowed but must be in neat, even rows and without beads or other ornaments.” By discriminating against people with dreadlocks, Six Flags is sending the message that an African American’s natural hairstyle is in some way offensive or “extreme” as they say. The economy has made it hard enough to gain employment without African Americans having to worry about their natural hairstyle.
Please sign this petition and support Markeese Warner and other African American’s seeking employment with natural hair.
Dear Mr. Reid-Anderson,
21-year-old Markeese Warner was denied an interview and subsequent employment at Six Flags because she wears her hair naturally in dreadlocks. Warner is a senior studying engineering at Pennsylvania State University, looking for a job in Maryland, while she was home for the summer. She is more than qualified for the food service position she applied, but Six Flags will not benefit from her skills due to the texture of her natural hair. Unfortunately and unjustifiably, Six Flags hiring policies prevent employees from wearing dreadlocks.
Many African American women allow their hair to grow naturally into dreadlocks. The hairstyle is often neat and professionally appropriate as was the case with Markeese Warner. The Six Flags discriminatory hiring practices send a message to the African American community that there is something wrong with their natural hair. As a theme park that invites everyone and anyone to enjoy your attractions, it is important to display the same inclusiveness in your workforce.
Please amend your hiring practices to accommodate the modern day African American woman. Six Flags will benefit by employing capable women and the African American community will not question the appropriateness of its hairstyle.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Roller Coaster Philosophy via flickr