The CROWN Coalition Celebrates Landmark Milestone In Its Efforts To End Hair Discrimination With The Introduction Of Federal Legislation

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The CROWN Act Of 2019 Calls For Federal Protection Against Hair Discrimination To Ensure All Natural Beauty Is Welcome In All Workplaces And Schools

The CROWN Coalition, a national alliance of organizations working to advance anti hair discrimination legislation, is celebrating a major victory with the introduction of a federal bill to ban hair discrimination called The CROWN Act of 2019. The CROWN Coalition, founded by Dove, National Urban League, Western Center on Law & Poverty, and Color Of Change, and supported by over 50 NGOs and non-profit organizations, have been working to raise awareness for the issue of hair discrimination and to drive action to end hair discrimination in workplaces and schools. The announcement of a federal bill, led by Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana) and Senator Corey Booker (D-New Jersey), is a monumental milestone in the Coalition’s efforts to Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.

“Hair discrimination has been a problematic practice impacting Black people in multiple settings for far too long. Natural hair and protective styles should never serve as a barrier. We in Congress have acted, and together with a racial equity champion like Adjoa B. Asamoah and the CROWN Coalition, we can ensure this form of discrimination no longer goes unchecked,” said Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana).

“Dove is incredibly proud to be a force in the movement towards a more equitable beauty experience for all people.  We were inspired to co-found the CROWN Coalition to support Senator Holly Mitchell in California with the inaugural CROWN Act, and are excited to see other state and federal legislators recognizing the time is now to take action to end this form of discrimination,” said Esi Eggleston Bracey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever North America. “We salute Congressman Richmond and Senator Booker, and the other members of the Congressional Black Caucus who are co-sponsoring The CROWN Act of 2019, for leading the charge to end hair discrimination nationwide.”

“A federal bill in both chambers of Congress is exactly what is needed to address the racial injustice of hair discrimination on a national level,” said Marc Morial, former mayor of New Orleans and CEO of the National Urban League, a founding member of the CROWN Coalition.  “With the passing of The CROWN Act in California and New York and more than 10 other states taking action to introduce or pre-file similar legislation, there is a heightened awareness of the need to expand anti-discrimination protections to include hair texture and hairstyles inherent to race.  Federal legislation would eliminate the need for state-by-state legislation and would immediately break down systemic barriers that limit social and economic mobility of African-Americans based on Eurocentric standards of beauty.”

“The federal CROWN Act of 2019 is an important and overdue step toward achieving civil rights and economic equity in this country,” said Color Of Change Vice President Arisha Hatch. “Ridding our schools, workplaces and communities of hostile hairstyle discrimination will finally allow children of color to view themselves as deserving of every opportunity they’ve seen handed to their white peers for generations.  On behalf of our 1.7 million members, Color Of Change applauds Congressman Richmond and Senator Booker for their leadership in introducing this bill, and we thank our partners in the CROWN Coalition for their lasting commitment to ensuring that natural beauty is protected for all Americans, no matter the state they live in or the color of their skin.”

The CROWN Act of 2019 is not the first time federal lawmakers have taken action against grooming policies that have a disparate impact on people of color. In 2014, the Congressional Black Caucus, led by then Chairwoman Rep. Marcia Fudge, appealed to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to reconsider U.S. Military rules for hairstyles that lacked cultural sensitivity and gave little regard to what it takes for women of color to maintain their natural hair. As a result, military grooming standards were reviewed and adjusted to ensure fair and respectful consideration of a diverse force.

“As reports of racial discrimination at work and in schools are increasing, it is essential that lawmakers recognize where more protections against it can, and should be, strengthened,” said Jessica Bartholow of the Western Center on Law and Poverty.  “We are so grateful to Senator Booker, Congressman Richmond and the Congressional Black Caucus for their leadership on this issue and are eager to continue the work with other CROWN Act coalition members and allies until all workers and all pupils in our country are free from cultural and racial discrimination based on the texture or style of their hair.  Passing this Act is an essential step to reducing school pushout of black children and improving job opportunities for black workers.”

Join the movement that’s creating real change and aiding in the efforts to ensure Black men, women and children feel confident in expressing themselves. Sign the petition at www.TheCROWNAct.com to help us end discrimination and learn how you can get involved in bringing anti-hair discrimination legislation to your state.  

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