By Jacqueline Laurean Yate via GMA
(SACRAMENTO) — One day shy of a year ago today, California became the first state to pass a law banning natural hair discrimination.
To commemorate, July 3 has been declared National Crown Day to celebrate the day the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) legislation was signed into law.
On Friday, the Crown Coalition will host a number of virtual events throughout the day to support efforts toward ending hair discrimination across the country.
Last year, Sen. Holly Mitchell led the charge in introducing and playing a key role in getting the bill passed in California. Since then, laws have also been passed in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington and Maryland in addition to municipalities in Cincinnati as well as Montgomery County, Maryland.
Twenty-three states have introduced CROWN legislation including Georgia, Florida and Arizona.
“When the governor signed SB 188, the CROWN Act into law one year ago today, I joked that July 3rd would become our true Independence Day, the day our natural hair was freed from oppressive workplace dress codes,” Mitchell told “Good Morning America.” “Acknowledging that our hair and its natural texture is a race-based trait was an important addition to the body of law aimed at securing equal treatment and equal protection for all.
“Until Congress is able to recognize that the quality of my work as an employee or student is based on what’s inside my head and not how I choose to wear my hair, we will continue the state-by-state strategy to pass the CROWN Act in every state in our nation.”
In December 2019, Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Democrat who represents Louisiana’s 2nd District, introduced the first federal bill to ban natural hair discrimination.
“Discrimination against black hair is discrimination against black people,” Booker said in a statement. “Implicit and explicit biases against natural hair are deeply ingrained in workplace norms and society at large. This is a violation of our civil rights, and it happens every day for black people across the country.”
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