On Friday, March 18, 2022 the House of Representatives passed the H.R.2116 - Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair ACT 2022, also known as the CROWN ACT, with a 235-189 vote. The bill is now in the hands of the United States Senate and is sponsored by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.
The CROWN ACT was created in 2018 by four Black women: Esi Eggleston Bracey, Unilever’s chief operating officer and executive vice president of beauty and personal care; Kelli Richardson Lawson, the founder and CEO of DC marketing firm JOY Collective; Orlena Nwokah Blanchard, JOY Collective’s president and chief operating officer; and social impact and legislative strategist Adjoa B. Asmoah.
“Today, discrimination starts as young as 4 years old, where young school children must adapt to standards at a high cost financially, emotionally, and mentally to achieve an education, just based on their natural hair. With current standards and certain laws (and lack thereof) in place in the majority of the states, this act of racism continues through adulthood and into the workplace. The CROWN ACT can end this on a federal level.” “EDFU Foundation supports the CROWN ACT and the work of the Crown Coalition to achieve the long overdue goal of making this anti-discrimination bill federal law. The CROWN ACT is more than a movement, it is a civil rights act. Currently, people of color, particularly Black people, face discrimination in both the workplace and in schools. Children are sent home or banned from wearing braids or sporting afros. Afrocentric hairstyles in the workplace lead to loss of jobs, prevent people from advancing or being hired for a job. The CROWN ACT would make it illegal to discriminate against someone for having natural hair that is appropriate for their culture.”
The CROWN ACT was first adapted and passed as a part of state law in California in June 2018 and has since been passed in 11 other states: New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, Maryland, Connecticut, New Mexico, Delaware, Nebraska, and Illinois for a total of 12 states. Currently, less than half of the states in the USA protect discrimination based on natural hair. In the House of Representatives, only 14 Republicans voted to pass the bill. The Senate will need a minimum of 10 Republicans to support it to prevent any filibuster. The CROWN ACT passed the House of Representatives in September of 2020, but failed to pass in the Senate.
“EDFU Foundation encourages the citizens of the United States to contact their representatives in the Senate, regardless of if you think they will vote to pass the bill; and tell your representatives to pass the CROWN ACT and end this form of racism now.” Learn more about the bill: https://www.congress.gov/.../117th.../house-bill/2116/text