Hair discrimination in the workplace and educational institutions is still happening in 2020.
Black and brown people in America have had their shared experiences of being barred from jobs, schools, and public events simply because of the braids, locks, and other natural hairstyles they wear, according to NBC News.
We’ve seen public outrage at incidents like DeAndre Arnold — a senior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas — who made national headlines after being sent to in-school suspension and prohibited from walking at his graduation for refusing to cut his dreadlocks.
As a result, filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry and actress Gabrielle Union invited Arnold to attend the Oscars where Dove sponsored his tickets in support of the coalition behind the CROWN Act.
— Dove (@Dove) February 1, 2020
Incidents like Arnold’s are the reason why the CROWN Act was enacted, to fight against hair discrimination that denies individuals employment and educational opportunities, according to their website.
The Crown Act — founded by Dove, the National Urban League, Color Of Change, Western Center of Law & Poverty, and led by the CROWN Coalition — is a law that specifically includes protection for “braids, twists, locks, hair texture, afro hairstyles, and other protective hairstyles,” according to the National Law Review.
CROWN — which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” — represents the fight to protect Black and brown people from racial discrimination based on natural hairstyles.
“Our country is in crisis,” The CROWN Coalition said in a statement reported by Because of Them We Can. “At this moment, there is a need to eliminate race discrimination and advocate for equity for all people in our country. Our efforts are grounded in a deep desire for racial equity, and our work will now expand to focus on fighting against all forms of racial discrimination, in addition to hair discrimination. Progress in the fight against institutionalized racism and systems of oppression comes with protections under the law.”
The coalition’s efforts have pushed legislation against hair discrimination in seven states and two municipalities including California, who was the first to adopt the new law. A dozen other states are also on board to review the bill in upcoming legislation, according to Because of Them We Can.
The coalition has grown to include 65 members and counting from organizations such as the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and several chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union, Because of Them We Can reports.
Additionally, they also reported the coalition is now inviting the greater public to join them in their fight against systemic racism and advocate for legislation in four different areas including reducing systemic bias and discrimination, re-imagining public safety, dismantling voter suppression, and driving economic equity.
TODAY reported that Dove is among the many brands participating in the Pull Up or Shut Up initiative, pledging $5 million and committing to combat racial discrimination in the Black community through four new initiatives, which includes expanding the CROWN Coalition.
For more information on how you can contribute to the coalition’s fight, click here.