Showing posts with label CROWN act. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CROWN act. Show all posts

Friday, March 18, 2022

House Passes CROWN Act, Banning Discrimination Against Natural Black Hairstyles

The US House on Friday passed legislation that would ban race-based hair discrimination in employment and against those participating in federally assisted programs, housing programs, and public accommodations.

The Democratic-led House voted 235-189 to pass the CROWN Act, which stands for "Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair." The bill seeks to protect against bias based on hair texture and protective styles, including locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros.

"Natural Black hair is often deemed 'unprofessional' simply because it does not conform to White beauty standards," Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, the bill's sponsor, said in a statement. "Discrimination against Black hair is discrimination against Black people."

The bill now heads to the Senate, where Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey has sponsored the chamber's version of the bill.


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Chicago mother speaks out after African American hair discrimination bill named after son passes

In 2021 4-year-old Jett Hawkins was sent home from preschool for having braids.

His mom, Ida Nelson promised her son that she would make it better.

Jan. 1, 2022 The Jett Hawkins Act banning discrimination in Illinois schools for hair styles like braids, locs and twists went into effect.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Hair based discrimination now illegal in New Jersey

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed S3945, also known as the "Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act" (CROWN Act), which clarifies that prohibited race discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.” The law was introduced after Andrew Johnson, an African-American high school wrestler at Buena Regional High School, was forced to cut off his dreadlocks in order to compete in a match on December 19, 2018 -- exactly one year ago today.

“Race-based discrimination will not be tolerated in the State of New Jersey.” said Governor Murphy. “No one should be made to feel uncomfortable or be discriminated against because of their natural hair. I am proud to sign this law in order to help ensure that all New Jersey residents can go to work, school, or participate in athletic events with dignity."

“I’m grateful to Governor Murphy for signing this important legislation and applaud Senator Sandra B. Cunningham and Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, who led the CROWN Act and Crown Coalition advocate Adjoa B. Asamoah, who worked tirelessly to end the implicit and explicit biases against natural hair,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. “Discrimination against black hair is discrimination against black people and no one should be denied a job, an education, or face discrimination because of their hairstyle.”

“We’re pleased that the Governor and the Legislature have codified the interpretation set out in our guidance document from earlier this year: Race discrimination includes discrimination based on traits inextricably intertwined or closely associated with race, including hairstyle,” said New Jersey Division on Civil Rights Director Rachel Wainer Apter. “Employers, housing providers, and places open to the public, including schools, cannot police natural black hairstyles.”

The CROWN Act updates the "Law Against Discrimination" to clarify that prohibited race discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.” As defined in the bill, the term “protective hairstyles” includes, but is not limited to, “such hairstyles as braids, locks, and twists.” This change is intended to remove any confusion or ambiguity over the scope of the Law Against Discrimination and its applicability to race discrimination predicated on such traits.

Primary sponsors of the bill include Senators Sandra B. Cunningham, Nia H. Gill, and Shirley K. Turner and Assemblymembers Angela McKnight, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, Shanique Speight, and Britnee Timberlake.

"I am proud to see New Jersey become just the third state in the nation to put an end to this discriminatory practice. This law will ensure people of color are free to wear their hair however they feel best represents them, whether that be locks, braids, twists or curls. No one should ever be told it is ‘unprofessional’ to embrace their culture,” said Senator Cunningham. “It is unacceptable that someone could be dismissed from school or denied employment because they wear their hair exactly how it grows, but that has been the reality for many black and brown individuals. Today, here in New Jersey, we've changed that.”

“We should not tolerate discrimination in any form and this law protects the civil rights of all peoples,” said Senator Gill.

In the last few years, we have seen several cases in New Jersey and around the country where children were sent home from school, or denied participation in extracurricular activities because of how they choose to wear their hair,” said Senator Turner. “Hair discrimination policies, rooted in Eurocentric beauty standards, have no place in our schools or our workplaces. It is time we get rid of them once and for all.”

“Unfortunately, it’s all too common for African-Americans and people of color to be subjected to discrimination at work or school for wearing their hair in braids, twists, and dreadlocks or embracing their natural curls,” said Assemblywoman McKnight. “A student at Buena Regional High School in New Jersey was forced by a referee at a wrestling tournament to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit the match to comply with association rules. With this law, the student would have been protected from this kind of discrimination.”

“If a person of color wants to embrace their cultural identity by wearing their hair in a certain style, they should be free to do so without fear of prejudice,” said Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson. “No one should be told to straighten, cut or change their hair in any way to meet certain norms. It’s time we enshrine these values into our law.”

“It’s almost unbelievable to think that in 2019, people face discrimination because of the way they wear their hair, or because of how their hair naturally looks,” said Assemblywoman Speight. “For many people, their hair is a reflection of who they are, and everyone should have freedom to be who they are, and be protected from racial bias.”

“Every person in New Jersey, regardless of their race, should be able to wear their hair with dignity and without discrimination,” said Assemblywoman Timberlake. “This law seeks to give added protections to communities of color and prevent prejudice and discrimination in the workplace and in the hiring process.”

“We thank Governor Murphy and the legislature for passing the CROWN Act in this historic week of legislation that is affecting the lives of New Jerseyans in general and New Jerseyans of color in particular,” said Amol Sinha, Executive Director of ACLU-NJ. “While natural hair might seem like an irrelevant front in the never ending battle against discrimination, we know that hair discrimination is too often used as a proxy for racism in ways that directly impact the success of people of color in schools, courtrooms, and board rooms. Adding hair discrimination to the protections offered in the Law Against Discrimination is an influential recognition of the myriad ways that racism expresses itself and provides people with a powerful tool to combat it.”

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Congressional Black Caucus members introduce legislation banning natural hair discrimination

Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) along with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-13), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) issued the following statement after introducing the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (CROWN Act):

“For far too long, Black Americans have faced senseless forms of discrimination merely because of how they choose to wear their hair. As states begin to tackle this issue, it is long overdue for Congress to act,” said Rep. Richmond. “From Louisiana to New Jersey, textured hair should never serve as a professional or educational impediment nor should it ever lead to a reprimand of consequence. In America, we regularly subscribe to the notion that our diversity is our strength. Now is the time to walk the walk, not just talk to the talk. That is why I partnered with Representatives Lee, Fudge, Pressley, Senator Booker, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Crown Coalition advocate Adjoa B. Asamoah, and Civil Rights activist, lawyer, and #FreeTheHair Movement founder Wendy Greene to introduce this urgent legislation. Together, with this bill, we can ensure this form of discrimination no longer goes unchecked.”

“Every day, Black women and men are forced to consider if their natural hair is “appropriate” or “professional” by Eurocentric standards,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13). “With the introduction of the CROWN Act of 2019, we are making it clear that discrimination against Black women and men who wear their natural hairstyles is wrong and must be prohibited. I began this fight in 2014 when I stood up to the U.S. military’s policy that prohibited servicemembers from wearing natural hair, and I will continue until every woman and man is protected. With the CROWN Act, we can turn the page on forcing cultural norms that penalize Black people and other people of color from wearing their natural hair. I thank Congressman Richmond for his leadership in introducing this important bill.”

“It is disheartening that, in 2019, hair discrimination creates additional barriers for people of color in education and places of employment,” said Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge. “Traditional hairstyles worn by African Americans are often necessary to meet our unique needs, and are a representation of our culture and ethnicity. To require anyone to change their natural appearance to acquire educational resources or a job is undeniably an infringement on their civil rights. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of the House companion of the CROWN Act, which protects against discrimination based on hair in federally funded institutions and in the workplace.”

“For too long, Black women and girls have been told that their hair is too curly, too unprofessional, too distracting” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. “As a Congresswoman, I choose to wear my hair in twists because I want to intentionally create space for all of us to show up in the world as our authentic selves – whether it’s in the classroom, in the workplace or in the halls of Congress. I am proud to support the CROWN Act, which is a bold step towards ensuring that people can stand in their truth while removing the narrative that Black people should show up as anything other than who they are.”

“Discrimination against Black hair is discrimination against Black people,” Senator Booker said. “Implicit and explicit biases against natural hair are deeply ingrained in workplace norms and society at large. This is a violation of our civil rights, and it happens every day for black people across the country. You need to look no further than Gabrielle Union, who was reportedly fired because her hair was ‘too black’ — a toxic dog-whistle African Americans have had to endure for far too long. No one should be harassed, punished, or fired for the beautiful hairstyles that are true to themselves and their cultural heritage.”