Summary: The “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act” (CROWN Act) provides that, for purposes of state/local law, illegal racial discrimination includes discrimination based on wearing a hairstyle that is common to people of color.
Based on Colorado HB 1048 (2020)
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act shall be called the “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act” (CROWN Act).
SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
(A) FINDINGS—The legislature/council finds that:
1. Throughout the history of the United States, society has used hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles, in conjunction with skin color, to classify people on the basis of race;
2. Like skin color, a person’s hair has served as a basis of race discrimination;
3. Racial discrimination can and does occur because of longstanding racial biases and stereotypes associated with hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles;
4. For example, people of African descent may be deprived of educational and employment opportunities because they are adorned with natural or protective hairstyles in which hair is tightly coiled or tightly curled or worn in locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, or Afros;
5. Racial discrimination is reflected in school and workplace policies and practices that bar natural or protective hairstyles commonly worn by people of African descent, as well as people of Jewish, Latinx, or Native American descent;
6. The state/city should acknowledge that people who have hair texture or wear a hairstyle that is historically and contemporarily associated with persons of African, Jewish, Latinx, or Native American descent systematically suffer harmful discrimination in schools, workplaces, and other contexts based upon longstanding race stereotypes and biases;
7. A clear and comprehensive law should address the systematic deprivation of educational, employment, and other opportunities on the basis of hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles that are commonly associated with race;
8. Clear, enforceable legal standards must be provided to redress the widespread incidences of race discrimination based upon hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles in schools, workplaces, housing, places of public accommodations, and other contexts;
9. It is necessary to prevent educational, employment, and other decisions, practices, and policies generated by or reflecting negative biases and stereotypes related to race;
10. The state/city must play a role in enforcing existing antidiscrimination laws, including the standards established under the “CROWN Act,” in a way that secures equal educational, employment, and other opportunities for all people regardless of their race and protects against race discrimination based on hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles; and
11. It is necessary to prohibit and provide remedies for the harms suffered as a result of race discrimination on the basis of hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.
(B) PURPOSE—This law is enacted to protect civil rights by prohibiting race discrimination based on hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.
SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS. In section XXX, the following new paragraphs shall be inserted:
[NOTE: Place this language wherever racial discrimination is prohibited.]
“Race” includes hair texture, hair type, or a protective hairstyle that is commonly or historically associated with race, including such hairstyles as braids, locs, twists, tight coils or curls, cornrows, bantu knots, afros, and headwraps.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act shall take effect on July, 1, XXXX.