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My Beauty My Say

Ending Discrimination Against Black Hair with The CROWN Coalition

We want all of our beauty to be welcome in all places and institutions. Narrow beauty standards make it difficult for women to freely celebrate our own beauty. While all women experience pressure to conform to certain standards of appearance, Black women are unfairly impacted. Society’s bias has enabled discrimination against Black women’s hair, including being judged differently based on hair texture and hairstyle.

Did you know …

· A Black woman is 80% more likely to change her natural hair to meet social norms or expectations at work

· Black women are 50% more likely to be sent home or know of a black woman sent home from the workplace because of her hair

 

In the US, the law does not currently afford protection for race-based hair discrimination, even if the hairstyle is inherent to racial identity. This is NOT OK. That’s why we co-founded the CROWN Coalition (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) in partnership with the National Urban League, Color Of Change, and Western Center on Law and Poverty. Our mission is to advance efforts to end hair discrimination and to create a more equitable and inclusive beauty experience for black women and girls.  

 

How the CROWN Coalition will enact change

While there is still a lot of work to do, there is progress. The CROWN Coalition sponsored The CROWN Act (SB 188) in California. Introduced by Senator Holly J. Mitchell, The CROWN Act recently passed the Senate and is being reviewed by the California Assembly. The Coalition is also working to drive change in other states, including New Jersey.

If these bills pass, they will ensure that traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and hairstyle, are protected from discrimination in the workplace and in K-12 public and charter schools. These bills are only the beginning, as the CROWN Coalition is galvanizing support for legislation to end hair discrimination.

 

Hair Bias Hurts Us All

The societal norms and corporate grooming policies that unfairly impact Black women create distractions that impact our whole society. We know diversity has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. Corporations refusing to hire, firing, or refusing to promote a Black woman because of her Protective Hairstyle not only destabilizes individual households but impacts the broader economy as the workforce boasts more working women than ever.[1]

 

In 2019 Black women still remain pressured to conform to Eurocentric standards of appearance. Black women report receiving formal grooming policies at a rate significantly higher than White women. Natural hairstyles inherent to Black identity such as locks, braids, bantu knots, etc. are ranked the lowest for ‘job readiness.’

 

We can see a world where we are all valued for who we are, a world where we express our individuality without any concern. No woman should ever be “judged” or held back by her appearance.

 

Get Involved!

Join us in creating real change that will impact how Black women and girls feel confident in expressing themselves. Follow @Dove on Twitter and #TheCROWNAct to see the status of SB188 and learn how you can get involved in bringing anti-hair discrimination legislation to your state.  Help us drive change today by signing the petition to pass The CROWN Act in California. Additionally a petition is available here to show support of the current California legislation.

[1] Mark DeWolf, 12 Stats About Working Women, U.S. Department of Labor Blog (March 1, 2017) (According to the Department of Labor, women make up 47% of the US workforce, own close to 10 million businesses, and account

CROWN Research study (2019). Conducted by JOY Collective. Study conducted in the U.S. among 2000 (1000 White and 1000 Black) Women, Age-15-64. All data tested at 95% confidence level.

 

 

 

 

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