According to The Tennessean, 7-year-old Morgan Bugg sparked change in the name of representation and inclusion of Black girl’s natural hairstyles, after noticing an educational app lacked inclusivity. A report said that Bugg was using Freckle as a part of her online, first-grade curriculum. On its website, Freckle states that it provides teachers with the best differentiation platform so they can teach all of their students at the level that’s best for them. As a part of the education game, students can earn coins for completing learning activities.
The Tennessean reported that the young girl wanted to redeem her coins and style her own avatar at the virtual store, but no hairstyle options for Black female students like her existed. Upon returning to virtual school, Morgan informed her teacher—Kelley Anne Joyner—that it was not fair that Freckle had one Black boy hair option and no Black girl hair option.
“I felt kind of sad and jealous that there wasn’t any girl hair for me,” Bugg said in an interview with The Tennessean. “So then I just got off the store and I was really mad.”
The interview also explained that Joyner, who works at Edmondson Elementary School in Brentwood, listened to her young student’s suggestion on asking Freckle to add Black girl hair options. Bugg illustrated hair examples to enable Joyner to send them to Freckle’s support team.
Joyner and Morgan’s teamwork made a difference. The Williamson Herald said that a second email informed the teacher of the app’s inclusive addition.
“Our product team recently added more hairstyles to the Piggy Store based directly on your feedback,” the message said, according to The Williamson Herald. “Thanks again for sharing your insightful comments on how to improve the student experience on Freckle.”
Bugg reportedly started dancing when her teacher read the email response to her, during a chat session. Then, a Zoom call with local media was later led by Williamson County Schools Communications Director Carol Birdsong.
“I feel happy, proud and warm,” Bugg said, according to The Williamson Herald.
On a final note, Buggs’s mother, Dr. Maya Bugg, is the founder and CEO of The Bugg Consulting Group L.L.C.
According to its website, the company ‘supports nonprofit and for-profit clients across the country as they endeavor to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive places of work and impact.’ Ironically, Bugg’s young daughter took a stand to promote inclusivity, while reminding others that representation does matter.