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Dove Taking action against hair discrimination

Taking action to dismantle hair discrimination in swimming

On July 2 2021, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) made the alarming decision to ban swim caps specifically created for Black natural hair, and protective styles such as braids, locs and twists, at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. A decision that further perpetuates the hair discrimination Black swimmers have faced for decades, and signifies the ongoing lack of cultural sensitivity towards Black athletes. Enough is enough.

From the workplace to schools to swimming pools, race-based hair discrimination is rife. We’re joining forces with the National Urban League – founding members of the CROWN Coalition – to take urgent action against Black hair discrimination in swimming. In our letter to FINA, we urge the board to accept Soul Caps – swim caps created for Black natural hair – at the Olympic games, as well as future competitions. 

Hair is integral to Black heritage, identity, and culture. We believe Black athletes deserve the freedom to compete without being forced to forfeit cultural identity or dignity. Allowing Black individuals to swim while protecting their natural hair would be a significant step towards creating a more equitable sport – as well confronting race-based hair discriminaton at the Olympic games.

As a founding member of the CROWN Coalition, Dove has championed The CROWN Act movement, created and driven by a team of Black women leaders, working with women who share a desire to end discrimination. Members include: Esi Eggleston Bracey and Erin Goldson of Dove, Los Angeles County Supervisor, Holly J. Mitchell, and JOY Collective agency leaders Kelli Richardson Lawson, Orlena Nwokah Blanchard and lead legislative strategist Adjoa B. Asamoah.

Together with the National Urban League and the entire CROWN Coalition, we’re campaigning to make discrimination against Black natural hair and protective styles illegal in the US via the CROWN Act. To date, 13 states and 30 municipalities have enacted the CROWN Act, or laws inspired by the CROWN Act, with a federal bill introduced in both chambers of the US Congress in March 2021. 

Join the CROWN Act movement and help us #PassTheCROWN.  Sign the petition.

We’re also striving to accelerate work to help eradicate race-based hair discrimination in the UK. Working closely with partners Emma Dabiri and Zina Alfa – who have both created petitions to make hair discrimination illegal under the UK Equalities Act – we’re campaigning for legislative change. In 2021 we established the UK CROWN Fund, investing in Black-led grassroots organizations with the aim to: eliminate barriers to progress for women and girls in the Black community; empower the next generation; and drive long-term systemic change.

Add your signature to help drive change in the UK today. 

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