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The Crown Act – Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair

WHEREAS, The CROWN Actwas created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition to ensure protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles including, but not limited to braids, locs, twists, afros, and Bantu knots in the workplace and schools; and

WHEREAS, according to Unilever PLC/Unilever N.V (2019), "hair discrimination has real, measurable social, and economic impact," with Black people's hair continuing to be policed and used to deter professional advancement; and

WHEREAS, according to the Editorial Board of the High School Journal (2020), "rampant in the news media are stories of students and young people being refused entry to, sent home from school, having their natural hair cut off, being threatened with disciplinary action, or being removed from extracurricular activities for hairstyles deemed unacceptable in mainstream white culture;" and

WHEREAS, in June 2019, California made headlines by becoming the first state to outlaw racial discrimination against individuals based on their natural and cultural hairstyles; and

WHEREAS, only thirteen states in total (CA, IL, NY, NJ, VA, CO, WA, MD, CT, NM, DE, NE, NV) have passed the legislation so far, while hair discrimination affects Black people throughout the United States and the world; and

WHEREAS, the law, also known as the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), states, "In a society in which hair has historically been one of many determining factors of a person's race, and whether they were a second class citizen, hair today remains a proxy for race.  Therefore, hair discrimination targeting hairstyles associated with race is racial discrimination;" and

WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill at the federal level on September 21, 2020; and

WHEREAS, in the United States, discrimination based on hair texture is a form of social injustice that has been predominantly experienced by African Americans and predates the existence of the country.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People reaffirms its stand and opposes the discriminatory practices associated with the denial of employment and educational opportunities based on hair texture, including hair that is tightly coiled or tightly curled, afros, and protective hairstyles, including braids, locs, twists, or Bantu knots.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NAACP urges the remaining 37 states, U.S. territories, and the U.S. Senate to pass the Crown Act.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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