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What is hair discrimination and would the CROWN Act eliminate it?

  • Aniya Faulcon
Afro couple in studio

Afro couple in studio

Airdate: July 13, 2022

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The Crown Act stands for creating a respectful and open world for natural hair. If the bill passes, it will ban race-based hair discrimination in employment and for those participating in federally assisted programs, housing programs, and public accommodations. It would also protect people against bias based on hair texture and protective styles like cornrows, braids, twists, bantu knots, locs, afros, and more.

The Crown Act bill was introduced last year in the Pennsylvania house of representatives and there was a rally last month in Harrisburg to see a version of the CROWN Act passed but there still hasn’t been full house action.

According to a 2019 study commissioned by Dove, a co-founder of the CROWN coalition, Black women are 80% more likely to believe that they must change their natural hair to “fit in at the office”. The same study found that Black women’s hair was over three times more likely to be perceived as unprofessional.

Wednesday’s guest on Smart Talk is Winnie Okello, founder and owner of Winnie O. Media LLC, which houses the cosmetic science review and the harassment and assault reporting platform, about the Crown Act bill, its importance, and her personal experience with hair discrimination as an African American woman.

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