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Gov. Polis signs bill making hair discrimination against state law

Posted: 12:01 PM, Mar 06, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-07 13:59:08-05
Bill aims to end race-based hair discrimination

DENVER — Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1048 into law on Friday, making it illegal to discriminate against someone bases on their hairstyle. Also known as the CROWN Act, the bill bans any discrimination for racial or ethnic hairstyles in schools, while searching for jobs, and even in housing.

Representative Leslie Herod is a sponsor of the bill. She told News5, "Our hair grows out of our head curly, naturally... What we have been told is that our natural hairstyles are unkempt, are not professional, and that we need to change our appearance." CROWN stands for "Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act of 2020."

"It will tell schools to change their policies, to ensure that they're not racially motivated, whether consciously or unconsciously," Herod said. When we spoke with Rep. Herod she was at a hair appointment with Keva Morris, who explains links between relaxers and potential health problems.

Morris said lots of women will eventually want to switch from using things like relaxers, and wear their natural hair. "Cut it off and find out that they have this glorious mane of curl, that they never knew they had because they've been relaxing, some since 5," she said.

When enacted, Colorado will be one of the first five states to have this type of law. The penalties would be the same as any type of race-based discrimination.