Curls on the Move (COTM) is a research-based health, hair, and self-care curriculum created for curly girls by curly girls. COTM began when its creator, Patti O’Brien-Richardson, was a health and physical education teacher and noticed girls not being physically active in gym class. When she asked them, the girls replied because they did not want to mess up their hair. This led to further discussions about wanting to learn more about how to care for their hair, how to take care of it, what products to use to make it grow, how to have healthy hair, and live healthier lives. Topics such as self-image, self-esteem, hair harassment for having natural hair, hair stories learned from earlier generations, and societal pressure to have hair that is straight in the workplace emerged.
Patti decided to focus on this topic for her doctoral dissertation, and with the help of her research mentors, advisory team, and most importantly, the input from the girls, a program for girls was born called Curls on the Move. COTM can be used by after-school clubs, home-school parents, and as a module for health education classes in schools.
COTM is a program of Move it Nation, Inc. a non-profit 501c3 organization created by Patti to motivate the young and the young at heart to move more. Our focus is obesity prevention particularly among urban youth. Recent research has shown that although obesity affects everyone, African-American women and adolescent girls are disproportionately affected by obesity and overweight, and are more physically inactive than their racial and ethnic counterparts. In response to this, we have narrowed our focus and developed programs and interventions for this population. Support our work at: moveitnation.org