Colorado is One Step Closer to Banning Natural Hair Discrimination

The Colorado House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would ban hairstyle discrimination, according to CBS Denver.

“CROWN – ‘Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair’— is an important step forward for racial equality and freedom of expression,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, who is a sponsor of the bill. Three other states, California, New York, and New Jersey have recently passed the bill. Now the bill moves to the Colorado Senate for its consideration. If passed, it would be up to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to sign the bill into law.

The bill would extend existing laws prohibiting discrimination based on race and ethnicity to explicitly cover hairstyles such as locks, twists, braids, and afros worn by many black people. The protections would apply to workers through their employment as well as students in school. School districts and charter schools would be required to prevent bullying based on hair just as they are required to prevent bullying based on race, religion, and disability status.

“It’s time we state clearly that in Colorado, people who choose to express their culture and heritage through their hairstyle will be embraced, not subjected to discrimination,” Herod tells CBS Denver.

The measure, which can be found here, states: “The bill enacts the “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act of 2020,” also known as the “CROWN Act of 2020,” which specifies that, for purposes of anti-discrimination laws in the context of public education, employment practices, housing, public accommodations, and advertising, protections against discrimination on the basis of one’s race includes traits historically associated with race, such as include hair texture, hair type, and or a protective hairstyles hairstyle commonly or historically associated with race, such as braids, locs, twists, tight coils or curls, cornrows, Bantu knots, Afros, and headwraps.”

The sponsors of the bill are Rep. Leslie Herod, Rep. Janet Buckner, and Sen. Rhonda Fields.


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