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National CROWN Day Celebrates the Fight Against Race-based Hair Discrimination

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The CROWN Act ensures protection against race-based hair discrimination in workplaces and K-12 public and charter schools.

The CROWN Coalition (Creating a Respectful and Open World with No Racism), a national alliance founded by Dove, National Urban League, Western Center on Law & Poverty and Color of Change declared July 3, 2020, as National CROWN Day.

The holiday marked the first anniversary of the signing of the CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act in California, which prohibits discrimination based on hairstyle and hair texture.

The one-day celebration featured a full day of virtual conversations and people are encouraged to #PassTheCrown and sign the petition to end hair-based discrimination at thecrownact.com.

According to The CROWN Coalition, The CROWN Act expanded the definition of race in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Education Code, to ensure protection against race-based hair discrimination in workplaces and K-12 public and charter schools.

As of June 28, 2020:

  • The CROWN Act is law in seven states (California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington and Maryland) and two municipalities (Cincinnati, Ohio, and Montgomery County, Maryland).
  • Nine additional states are considering the CROWN Act and have either pre-filed, filed or formally stated an intent to introduce their anti-hair discrimination bills, including Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
  • Of note, the CROWN Act was introduced in 15  additional states but didn’t move through the legislature before the legislative sessions ended (Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Oregon, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin). [The coalition] will work to support reintroducing the CROWN Act.
  • Federal legislation was introduced in December 2019 by Rep. Cedric Richmond and Sen. Cory Booker.

Esi Eggleston Bracey, executive vice president and chief operating officer of North America Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever, stated, “Dove has always stood for beauty inclusion and rejects social injustice of any kind. I am encouraged by how much we have accomplished in just eighteen months to bring an end to race-based hair discrimination. We are proud to have inspired a movement with a significant impact, but we still have work to do. The CROWN Act has passed in seven states and has been introduced in over 20 additional states and at the federal level. We know that hair discrimination is just one form of racial discrimination and we are determined to help bring about systemic change to eradicate racism in all its forms. Dove created the CROWN Fund and we are pledging $5 million of ongoing support to drive change. We know funding is not enough, which is why we are taking action with our coalition partners to advance legislative change.”

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