Black women leaders are coming together so they can push for a certain federal bill to get passed: the CROWN Act Bill. CROWN stands for Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair.
If passed, the bill will ban discrimination based on hair texture and hairstyle, under the California Education Code and FEHA.
Even though the CROWN Act Bill was promptly passed in California back in 2019, it is yet to be recognized on the national level.
The women leaders behind the movement are still working together so that the bill can be passed in Senate and the U.S. House.
In an encouraging move, the bill has already passed legislation in 13 American states, which is a significant rise from 7 states last year.
The CROWN Coalition is the official campaign that is currently pushing for the bill to be passed.
It was founded by a coalition between Western Center on Law & Poverty, Color of Change, National Urban League, and Dove.
The Black women at the helm of the campaign include social impact and legislative strategist Adjoa B. Asamoah, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Founder and CEO of JOY Collective, Kelli Richardson Lawson, Chief Operating Officer and Executive VP of beauty and personal care at Unilever North America, Esi Eggleston Bracey, and President and COO at JOY Collective, Orlena Nwokah Blanchard.
Late last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the CROWN Act bill. Earlier this year, the bill was reintroduced in both the Senate and House.
As things stand, 30 municipalities in the country have already passed legislation against discrimination of hair. Another eight states are thinking of passing their own similar anti-hair discrimination bills.
The CROWN Act bill is coming at a crucial time, especially in light of the recent Olympics debacle.
A swimming cap designed for black hair was banned by the Federation for International Competitions in Water Sports, or FINA.
Their justification was that elite athletes apparently don’t need swimming caps of such sizes, even though many African Americans’ natural hair is coiled, kinky, and bigger than their white counterparts.
The CROWN Coalition is currently asking for people’s support by signing their petition (it has over 315,000 signatures currently) or calling their local senators to push for the bill to be passed in more states.