Everything you need to know about the fight against Hair Discrimination
Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair
The CROWN ACT is a crucial step in furthering cultural diversity and acceptance as it sets out to protect people of color from discriminatory practices that have been entrenched in our society - particularly in schools and workplaces. The Act criminalizes the targeting of hairstyles associated with race and prevents employers, educators, and oppressors from imposing stringent 'policies' related to physical appearances.
The CROWN ACT was created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition, in partnership with then State Senator Holly J. Mitchell of California, 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.
Meet the co-creators of the CROWN Coalition, who are helping to fight hair discrimination and effecting the kind of change that’ll allow Black Americans to authentically be themselves in the workplace and beyond
80 percent of Black women reported having to change their hair to fit into the workplace.
Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair.
100 percent of Black elementary school girls in majority-white schools who report experiencing hair discrimination state they experience the discrimination by the age of 10.
This recent study confirms what many Black women have experienced for years - that workplace bias and corporate grooming policies present a significant barrier to Black women playing a real role in dictating their ability to celebrate their natural beauty.
Source: Dove CROWN Research Study (2019) conducted by JOY Collective.
Hair discrimination is rooted in systemic racism, and its purpose is to preserve white spaces. 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. With no nationwide legal protections against hair discrimination, Black people are often left to risk facing consequences at school or work for their natural hair or investing time and money to conform to Eurocentric professionalism and beauty standards.
Natural hair is hair that has not been chemically altered to change its kinky, curly, or coily state. This includes traditional Black hairstyles such as locs, braided extensions, twists and fades.
A protective hairstyle is a style that tucks the ends of the hair away from being exposed to damaging agents such as sun, heat, and constant manipulation.
Austin CROWN Act
In 2020, The Austin City Council directed the City Manager to work with stakeholders and organizations like Measure representing the interests of workers and protected classes on further recommendations for these civil rights ordinances. The Austin Civil Rights Office was formed as a result.
The Civil Rights Office hosted community forums where Measure shared and gathered information about community needs and protections necessary for people to be themselves and comfortable with wearing their natural hair and protective hairstyles to work, in educational environments, in housing, and everywhere we exist.
This collaboration resulted in the passing of the Austin CROWN Act which amended the City Code to revise the definition of “Discriminatory Employment Practice” to include “Protective Hairstyles”.
Measure remains committed to advancing the CROWN ACT city-by-city until the Texas CROWN Act is passed and has begun conversations with other cities to pass similar ordinances.
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news and announcements
CROWN ACT (HB 567) Filed | November 14, 2022
Texas State Representative Rhetta Bowers, D-Garland, reintroduced the Crown Act legislation for the 2023 Texas Legislative Session. The Texas CROWN ACT, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, will ban discrimination based on hair textures and styles commonly associated with race.
Pflugerville: Community Discussion | February 21, 2023
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Pi Omega Zeta Chapter is hosting a community discussion that aims to educate the community on the importance of the CROWN Act in protecting Black hair in Pflugerville, TX.
During this panel discussion, they will explore the history of discrimination against individuals with natural hairstyles, the current legal landscape in the United States, and the cultural implications of this law. The discussion will feature a panel of community leaders, local hair professionals, and experts on the CROWN ACT. It is free and open to the public, and we encourage everyone in the Pflugerville community to attend.
Representative Rhetta Andrews Bowers, Primary Author of HB 567, The Texas CROWN ACT, will be joined by CROWN ACT Joint Authors Texas Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Ron Reynolds and Representative Carl Sherman, and CROWN Coalition Co-Creator Adjoa B. Asamoah, from Washington, D.C. Other speakers to be announced include advocates with personal experience with hair discrimination and other members of the Legislature.
The Texas House overwhelmingly passed the bill. The lower chamber’s vote took the state one step closer to adopting a law inspired by the experiences of two Black high schoolers near Houston threatened with discipline in the 2019-20 school year if they didn’t cut their locks.
Pflugerville City Council Passes Resolution| April 25, 2023
The Pflugerville City Council has expressed its support for adopting the CROWN Act standards, a monumental decision stemming from a strong collaboration between the local non-profit organization Measure and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. both organizations advocated for change by organizing community listening sessions with city council members, to educate and mobilize the community on the issue.
The Dallas County Commissioners Court unanimously passed a resolution in support of the CROWN Act. Commissioner John Wiley Price says he wants to send a message that hair discrimination based on race or national origin does not reflect the county’s values.