The CROWN Act was created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition to ensure protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles such as braids, locs, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools. People should not be forced to divest themselves of their racial cultural identity by changing their natural hair in order to adapt to predominantly white spaces in the workplace or in school.
The CROWN Act prohibits discrimination based on hairstyles by extending statutory protections based on race to hair texture and protective styles in state Employment, Housing, Education Codes. First introduced in California in January 2019 and signed into law on July 3, 2019, the inaugural CROWN Act expanded the definition of race in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and state Education Code, to ensure protection in workplaces and in K-12 public and charter schools. Since then, The CROWN Act has galvanized support from federal and state legislators in the movement to end hair discrimination nationwide. Continue reading from The CROWN Act Official
The House passed a bill Friday that would ban race-based hair discrimination at work, federal programs and public accommodations. The CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act, passed along party lines with a vote of 235-189. The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.
"For too long, Black girls have been discriminated against and criminalized for the hair that grows on our heads and the way we move through and show up in this world," Rep. Ayanna Pressley said on the House floor Friday.
Congressional action on race-based hair discrimination comes after years of advocates pushing for policy change at the national level. Several states have already implemented their own versions of the CROWN Act. On Thursday, Massachusetts became the latest state to pass a local ban on hair discrimination.
"Hair discrimination is rooted in systemic racism, and its purpose is to preserve white spaces," the NAACP says. "Policies that prohibit natural hairstyles, like afros, braids, bantu knots, and locs, have been used to justify the removal of Black children from classrooms, and Black adults from their employment." Continue reading from NPR