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Evaluate the Policy Response of the United States for the Crown Act

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The CROWN Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” is a law that prohibits discrimination based on hair style and hair texture. First introduced in California in January 2019, The CROWN Act expanded the definition of race in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Education Code, to ensure protection in workplaces and in K-12 public and charter schools

The inaugural CROWN Act was signed into law by Governor Newsom in California on July 3rd and went into effect January 1, 2020.

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The authors of this new law say women with kinky and curly hair are sometimes subject to unequal treatment, and can even be viewed as inferior

A recent study by Dove says that black women are 80% more likely to change their natural hair to conform to social norms or expectations at work. Chastity Jones was locked in a nearly ten-year legal battle after she says an employer took back a job offer at an Alabama call center because Jones refused to cut her hair. Jones sued the company in 2013 for discrimination and lost wages, but her claim was dismissed. Last year, the NAACP filed a petition to bring her case to the Supreme Court, who declined to hear the case. New York was the second state to introduce the CROWN Act, with Governor Cuomo signing the CROWN Act into law on July 12th, deeming the legislation effective immediately. New Jersey became the third state to the enact the CROWN Act as Governor Phil Murphy signed the CROWN Act into law on December 19th, the one-year anniversary of the wrestling match where New Jersey high school wrestler Andrew Johnson's locs were forcibly cut off.

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In October 2017 Julissa Prado launched the haircare brand Rizos Curls, which creates products “that embrace and celebrate the beauty of curls, kinks and waves everywhere.” “I grew up in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods and I always saw the [women] around me straightening their hair,” Prado says. “Whether it was wavy or coily, it was embedded into our head that wearing it natural was unprofessional, improper, and that it wasn’t done until it was straight.” Through Rizos Curls, Prado works toward providing quality curl care for defined, healthy voluminous natural curls

One quick scroll through Rizos Curls’ Instagram page, and followers will find that Prado’s line of products have empowered other women to share, flaunt, and accept their natural hair. The majority of Rizos Curls’ customers, Prado says, are customers that have never worn their hair natural before or are wearing it natural for the first time. The great majority of her customers are also Afro-Latinas.

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As can be seen, earlier this year, New York City set a rare example by introducing strict new guidelines that banned hair based discrimination

Although the state of New York has updated its existing laws to be more inclusive, a bill closer to The Crown Act in California would require a massive overhaul of the state's policies.

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"California becomes first state to ban discrimination against natural hair". CBS News.

Masters, Collin (2020-01-29). "New SC bill could end race-based hair discrimination". WCIV.

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