Connecticut just became the latest state to advance The CROWN Act, prohibiting natural hair discrimination in schools and workplaces. The Senate reached a unanimous decision on Monday, and the bill will now go to Governor Ned Lamont's desk, where it is expected to be signed into law.
Gov. Lamont reacted to the news on Twitter, writing, "This measure is critical to helping build a more equitable society, and I look forward to signing it into law in the coming days." Representative Tammy Exum was one of many who championed the bill, stressing in an interview with NBC Connecticut that Black women face more scrutiny based on their hair. "Unfortunately, when you have hair that isn't straight and when you have skin that's Black or brown, it isn't simply hair. It's judgment," she said. "I look at the hair of those around me and just accept it as is. It doesn't speak to their ability, their competency, their performance, or their knowledge."
Connecticut will join Virginia, California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Colorado, and Washington as states officially prohibiting natural hair discrimination in schools and workplaces. The CROWN Act, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, seeks to foster safe environments for Black people who wear their hair naturally and in other protective styles like braids, Bantu knots, and locs. The bill is currently pending approval by the United States Senate after being passed by the House Of Representatives in September.
Connecticut implementing the bill marks another pivotal stop on the road to ending natural hair discrimination and dismantling racial inequity in the United States — but it doesn't end there. The CROWN Act still hasn't been filed for consideration in a number of states, including Nevada, Nebraska, Idaho, and more. To help pass The CROWN Act in your state, you can sign the online petition or get in touch with your local representative to demand change.