Let's Talk Natural Hair

Ahead of the inaugural embody | embrace on Jan. 25, 2020, local teens Melvina, Jazmine, Gabby, Beyonce, Shilynn and Raevighn talked with librarian Kellee Forkenbrock about their experiences with natural hair.


There will be something new for everyone to learn, whether it’s about the significance of black hair or how to transition to natural hair.

Find Community

Talk with local hair experts about how to care for and style your hair and find people within your community who can share in your journey.


Listen to others’ stories and take them to heart. If this is your story, live it proudly.

A photograph of Janette Taylor

Keynote Speaker: Janette Y. Taylor

Janette Y. Taylor, PhD, RN, FAAN is an associate professor in the University of Iowa’s College of Nursing and in the university’s Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies and African American Studies programs.

Taylor’s research has focused on race/ethnicity as variables in nursing research, African American women’s experiences of domestic violence, the health of women prisoners and using narrative art therapy with incarcerated abused women.

She is currently a board member for Amani Community Services, a culturally specific domestic violence and sexual assault agency, serving African Americans in Black Hawk and Linn Counties. Her contributions have been recognized by an Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award as well as a Women of Influence.

Taylor has received a teaching award from the Pi Kappa Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., at the University of Iowa. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Taylor completed her PhD at the University of Washington-Seattle and holds a certificate in Women’s Studies.  She served as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Ethical Considerations for Revisions to DHHS Regulations for Protection of Prisoners Involved in Research.

Taylor has also practiced as a women’s health care nurse practitioner.


This event is Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, and attendance is free and open to the public. The schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Keynote Speaker

1 to 2 p.m. in Library Meeting Room ABCD

Presentation and Q&A Session with University of Iowa Professor Janette Taylor on the History and Significance of Black Hair

Workshops & Breakouts

2 to 4 p.m. in the North Liberty Community Center

Basic Hair Care

ICR community stylists will demonstrate how to maintain healthy natural hair and showcase products you can use at home. Attendees will also receive a free sample bag of hair care product.


Local barbers will demo their skills, talk about trends for short hair and share tips to keep your look fresh.


Braiders will dazzle you with tips on protective style and creative braiding techniques. Learn something new and see what local talent we have in the ICR community.

After Hours

Spoken Word/Slam Poetry Open Mic

6:30 to 8 p.m. at Sugapeach, 650 Pacha Parkway

A performing of selected pieces followed by an emceed open mic night. Indulge your soul with food from SugaPeach Chicken & Fish Fry. Adults and teens welcome.


6 to 8 p.m. at Recreation, Gym

A free evening of games, activities and food for kids 5+ hosted so adult and teen caregivers can attend the poetry slam.

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