What We Are Doing


The Equity & Opportunity Council of John Paul Mitchell Systems® and Paul Mitchell Schools is committed to continue making changes that are necessary for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive company and industry. Our goal is to recognize, address and ultimately eliminate the hurdles of bias and discrimination, leading to a better future where we are stronger together.

We are committed to taking positive action to be part of the solution. The Equity & Opportunity Council owns the responsibility of adding oversight and governance to the Committee’s work. One of the first tasks at hand was to clearly define the Equity & Opportunity Council Mission Statement.

The stated goals of the Council include commitments to three primary areas of focus:

Educate / Donate / Elevate

See below what resources and groups we’re learning from and listening to, and the actions of our re-commitment to a just future.


The Education Committee is assessing current curriculum for Paul Mitchell Schools and JPMS education and training. Upgrades will be made across the curriculum to ensure that all Future & Salon professionals are prepared to serve ALL guests, inclusive of all hair types and textures.

Both JPMS and PM Schools will be introducing Culture Competency training for all employees, while expanding hiring sources and practices to better promote diversity.

We are also creating a webinar series on Cultural Competency, featuring Professor Traci Gourdine, that will be used as part of our internal education program as well as part of the PM Schools curriculum. The series will include collaborations with various guest speakers and artists. We just recently shot our first two "pilot" episodes and look forward to sharing these with the team. This series will dive in and celebrate tradition, pride, belief systems and the heritage of hair dressing and the history of hair adornment of diverse cultures.

A resource roundup of what we're listening to and learning from to help guide acceptance and understanding (including recommendations from our artists, educators and brand ambassadors), in case you're interested in doing the same thing:


The Council has created 10 committees to streamline discussions and to implement meaningful action plans. The members represent a manageable group size (8-10 people) selected from a cross-section of PM Schools, JPMS employees and Educators.

Each committee is charged with established goals in alignment with the Council’s mission and to defining timelines and measurement criteria for development and implementation. They will report to the Council on their progress every 2 months.

Committees Include:

  1. Communications
  2. Community & Philanthropy
  3. Cultural Competence
  4. Education
  5. Branding/Digital Marketing
  6. Scholarship
  7. Enrollment
  8. Compliance
  9. HR and Employment
  10. Economic Empowerment

Meet the Council members:

  • Angus Mitchell, Co-Owner
  • Arlene Lyons, Owner/CEO - Paul Mitchell The School Esani & Paul Mitchell The School Sacramento
  • Barbara Brekke, Director of Digital Content
  • Brandon Palmore, Barbershop Owner & Barbering Lead Educator - PMAE
  • Brennan Claybaugh, Director of Education - PMAE
  • Casondra & Elton Williams, School Owners - Paul Mitchell The School Raleigh
  • Dale & Kimberlyn Jones, School Owners, Paul Mitchell The School Nashville, Knoxville, & Murfreesboro
  • Dale Jones Jr., Operations Leader - Paul Mitchell The School Nashville, Knoxville, & Murfreesboro
  • George Morales, School Owner - Paul Mitchell The School Costa Mesa
  • John Mosley, Educator & Brand Ambassador - MVRCK
  • Kristin Firrell, Vice President Salon Development
  • Lindsey Provost, Public Relations Director
  • Lucie Doughty, Creative Director
  • Mahogany Plautz, Salon Owner & Educator
  • Mara Gourdine, Corporate Culture Ambassador
  • Marc Magno, Digital Design Director
  • Marci Miguel Richards, Marketing Director
  • Michaeline DeJoria, Vice Chairman
  • Monaghan Cromeans, Service Desk Coordinator/Office Assistant - Paul Mitchell The School San Diego
  • NeCole & Orlando Cumberlander, School Owners - Paul Mitchell The School Cleveland and Columbus
  • Orlando Cumberlander Jr., President of Real Estate Developement - Skyland Property Group
  • Paula Peralta, Salon Owner, Brand Ambassador & Educator
  • Reed Cromeans, Service Desk Coordinator/Mentor - Paul Mitchell The School San Diego
  • Russell Smith, Production Innovation Center
  • Skylar Cumberlander, Owner & Artistic Director - Noir et Blanc Salon
  • Stephanie Melvin, National Director of Admissions - PMAE
  • Susan Davis, Assistant Controller
  • Tania Kingsrud, Vice President Marketing
  • Traci Gourdine, Professor of English - American River College
  • Trina & Dante Carter, School Owners - Paul Mitchell The School Delaware
  • Winn Claybaugh, Dean & Co-Founder - Paul Mitchell Schools

Thank you to everyone for your interest, questions, comments and continued support. We are excited to represent you, amplify your voice and be a part of this journey together towards social justice.

#PMStrongerTogether #PMSchoolStrong #PMSalonStrong

A message to our community

from John Paul DeJoria, Angus Mitchell and Michaeline DeJoria Heydari:

We have spent the last week writing and rewriting a statement, attempting to find the words to make sure we said what we are trying to say in the most sensitive and yet impactful way we can. We were trying to get it right.

But the fact is, there are no right words you can put around how Black lives don't have the same equity as white lives. There's no right way to say that George Floyd was murdered by a racist police officer. We know that white privilege is very real. We know that being comfortable, and only saying things that are comfortable, is part of the problem.

So, while we want to be sensitive, while we want the world to know the thought and care that went in to creating the message that was supposed to go out—what really matters are the facts.

The facts are:

Black lives matter. Period. They not only matter, they are essential, beautiful and brilliant.

We don't do enough. Simply said, it is clear to us that we don't. It isn't enough to have intention, we need firm action.

We will always learn as we go. We aren't here to "get it right." We want to serve our world, and the Black population, better. We want to know when we get it wrong.

We are taking action. There is much work to be done, and elevating our Black community is officially a top priority for all the years to come. In the meantime, here are some things going into action NOW:

  • We are forming an internal committee that will represent many diverse backgrounds in our company. We want to know—not THINK we know—that they are being represented and their voices are being heard. Ads, education, employment: there is no area of our world that this sweeping addition won't affect.
  • We have supported organizations since the beginning that serve marginalized communities. But providing aid, though important, isn't going to change the cycle! We are currently vetting organizations to support that help give this community the opportunities they deserve.
  • Internally, we are putting together different ways to provide opportunity for Black artists and future executives. We need more Black voices on every level of our business, including executive. You will hear more on this as it unfolds, but it is being worked on around the clock and is of huge importance.
  • Our education program is being reexamined to create less divide, and to include all hair types as standard learning, not specialized.

The fact is that some people will find this letter too harsh, some too vague. But to be the change we want to see, we are speaking to you as honestly and openly as we can in hopes that it will encourage others to do the same. Take the time to educate yourself, and speak. It doesn't have to sound pretty, it doesn't have to check all the boxes, and it's okay to say that you don't know. That is the only way to break this barrier down and start re-building, hand in hand. Just speak, and voice by voice, we can all shape our world into the one we want to leave behind. This isn't the time to have our "company" speak—it's a time for all of us to.

We stand with you in solidarity and with love, John Paul DeJoria Angus Mitchell Michaeline DeJoria