Back in January 2019, California Senator Holly J. Mitchell introduced the CROWN Act (it stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), which Governor Gavin Newsom would sign into law, making it illegal for employers and public schools to discriminate against Black people who choose to wear their hair in its natural state or in a protective style. Today, Rep. Ilhan Omar announced that the House of Representatives passed legislation (H.R. 5309) to make it a nationwide mandate, not just an exception in a few states. In addition to California, Colorado, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, and New York also passed hair-based discrimination acts. Next, the CROWN Act will move to the Senate. Pending a vote there, the CROWN Act could end hair discrimination nationwide.
“It has been incredibly gratifying to witness the progress that Dove and the CROWN Coalition have made,” Esi Eggleston Bracey, executive vice president and chief operating officer of North American beauty and personal care at Unilever, told InStyle back in July. “Hair discrimination has impacted the Black community for far too long and the support and excitement over the CROWN Act lets us know that we are on the right path and making a difference.”
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) September 21, 2020
According to the Crown Act’s official website, “Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair” and 80% of Black women report feeling like they have to change their natural hair to fit into their office environment.