- Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women
Massachusetts — Discrimination manifests itself in our society in a variety of ways. At the core of that are often archaic laws or regulations held in place by those in power. Within this specific case, we're discussing something that is inherent to many of us and our culture: our hair.
The Crown Act, also known as An Act prohibiting discrimination based on natural hairstyles, is a bill modeled upon the National CROWN Act and aims to combat hair discrimination in Massachusetts by defining natural hairstyles in statute and prohibiting discrimination based on natural hairstyles in schools, businesses, and other public spaces in the Commonwealth.
This bill will specifically define natural hairstyles in statute, prohibit discrimination in the workplace, and ban policies that limit or prohibit natural hairstyles in all school districts and require charter schools to address natural hairstyles in their equal opportunity statements.
As MCSW is a proud supporter and partner in advocacy for this legislation, Chairwoman Denella Clark presented live testimony to the Joint Committee of the Judiciary today and shared:
"I wore box braids and I can recall being at one of our largest employers (in Massachusetts) and being asked to remove my braids and being told that braids were not to be coming in the workplace.. This is a very important bill and I really hope that you will join, not only the 14 other states (who have passed this bill), but with all women and girls here within our Commonwealth to ensure that we are not discriminated against because of our natural hair.. I look forward to celebrating in the future that Massachusetts stands with all women and girls regardless of how we choose to wear our hair."
Please contact your legislators and let them know how vital the support of this bill is for women and girls of the Commonwealth.