ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., MARCH 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The CROWN Coalition, the official national supporters of the CROWN Act movement; an alliance founded by Dove, National Urban League, Western Center on Law & Poverty and Color Of Change, along with over 50 CROWN Act supporting organizations are thrilled to announce the Commonwealth of Virginia and the state of Colorado as the latest states to enact the CROWN Act. This important law will prohibit hair discrimination against anyone based on the texture of their hair, hair type, protective hairstyles like braids, locs and twists.
In Virginia, Senator Lionell Spruill Sr. and Delegate Delores L. McQuinn, introduced SB 50/HB 1514 as the Virginia Human Rights Act. Governor Northam signed the bill into law on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 making the Commonwealth of Virginia the fourth state to make hair discrimination illegal. On February 4, 2020, SB 50 passed unanimously on the Senate Floor with a vote of 40-0 and HB 1514 passed the House floor with a vote of 71-26 on February 21, 2020. SB 50 and HB 1514 are identical bills.
Introduced in Colorado by Representatives Leslie Herod, Janet Buckner, and state Senator Rhonda Fields, Colorado is now the fifth state to pass the bill. The CROWN Act (HB20-1048) prohibits discrimination based on a person's traits that are historically associated with race, such as hair texture, hair type and protective hairstyles, including locs and braids. On February 12, 2020, the bill passed in the House with a vote of 42-21. It then passed in the Senate on February 28, 2020 with a 23-11 vote. Governor Jared Polis officially signed the bill into law on Friday, March 6, 2020.
In addition to Virginia and Colorado passing The CROWN Act during the week of March 2nd, Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland held legislative hearings and Ohio introduced similar legislation.
"Dove is proud to be part of such an important movement and moment in culture," said Esi Eggleston Bracey, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of North America Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever. "We are happy to see Virginia and Colorado added to California, New York and New Jersey. We started this effort with The CROWN Coalition just 12 months ago and to have 2 additional states with laws now passed in the same week, making hair discrimination illegal and over 20 other states introducing similar legislation, underscores how the power of community can drive change."
The CROWN Act recently had an unbelievable moment at the 92nd Academy Awards as Matthew A. Cherry and his producing partner Karen Rupert Toliver won the Oscar for Animated Short Film for their project "Hair Love." This inspirational short showcases the beauty of Black families and aims to normalize Black hair. Not only did Matthew bring attention to the CROWN Act as a part of his speech but he also extended a personal invitation to DeAndre Arnold, the Texas high school student prohibited from graduating with his class this summer because of the length of his locs. "Everyone should be free to wear their hair however they want discrimination free," says Cherry. "I'm proud to support the CROWN Act and am excited to see Virginia and Colorado join California, New York and New Jersey in making our schools and workplaces inclusive and accepting to our hair."
"I am happy to have passed legislation in Virginia that will prevent discrimination in the workplace for hairstyles on the basis of race. I am thankful for the CROWN Act movement in pushing this issue to the forefront," stated Senator Lionell Spruill, Sr.
"I am proud that the Colorado General Assembly has passed the CROWN Act and it is now the law of this great state," said Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod. "The passage of the CROWN Act sends a message to every little girl, boy and non-binary youth who has been forced to change their hair to fit in. Everyone deserves to feel safe, to feel proud of their culture and heritage, and to be celebrated for their self-expression."
Join the movement that's creating real change and aiding in the efforts to ensure Black women, men, and children feel confident in expressing themselves. Sign the petition at www.TheCROWNAct.com to help us end discrimination and learn how you can get involved in bringing anti-hair discrimination legislation to your state.
About The CROWN Coalition
The CROWN Coalition, are the official national supporters of the CROWN Act movement; an alliance founded by Dove, National Urban League, Western Center on Law & Poverty and Color Of Change, along with over 50 CROWN Act supporting organizations.
The CROWN Coalition is proud to sponsor and/or support the following bills in California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and most recently Colorado:
- Sponsor of CA Senate Bill 188 'The CROWN Act' introduced by CA State Senator Holly J. Mitchell
- Supporter of NY S6209A introduced by NY State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey and Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright
- Supporter of NJ Senate Bill 3945; introduced by NJ State Senator Sandra B. Cunningham and AB 5564 introduced by Assemblywoman Angela McKnight
- Supporter of Virginia Legislation: Senate Bill 50 introduced by VA State Senator Lionell Spruill Sr. and House Bill 1514 introduced by Delegate Delores L. McQuinn
- Supporter of Colorado House Bill 20-1048; introduced by Representatives Leslie Herod, Janet Buckner, and CO State Senator Rhonda Fields
These bills address unfair grooming policies that have a disparate impact on Black women, men and children and has drawn attention to cultural and racial discrimination taking place within workplaces and public charter schools. The CROWN Coalition members believe diversity and inclusion are key drivers of success across all industries and sectors.
SOURCE The CROWN Coalition