Hundreds gather in Frankfort to push for passing of C.R.O.W.N. Act
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Hundreds gathered in Frankfort to push for the passing of Senate Bill 63 known as the C.R.O.W.N. Act.
The Real Young Prodigys, Hip Hop Into Learning, Kentucky Student Voice Team, Justice Now! and more than 300 JCPS students came to the rally Wednesday.
The C.R.O.W.N Act Stands for “Create a respectful and open world for natural hair” and was created in 2019.
20 states have passed the act.
Senate Bill 63 received bipartisan support and passed out of committee in 2022.
“I regret that this is something that we even have to do,” Sponsor of SB 63 Senator Whitney Westerfield said. “But the hair that God gave you ought to be the hair that you get to wear.”
Teachers, students and state leaders shared their stories of hair discrimination in the rotunda. ACLU of Kentucky lead the rally.
86% of black teens experience hair discrimination by age 12 and Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work due to their hair, the ACLU reports.
“I’ve always heard people compare my hair to theirs and I always feel like all of our hair is the same,” a Western Highschool Student said.
ACLU said the bill would add two additional definitions to already existing civil rights code by expanding them to include traits historically associated with race, including protective hairstyles.
“The economic impact can be felt when you aren’t considered professional because of your natural hair,” Jackie McGranahan, of ALCU of Kentucky said.
The Act would not remove policies that affect public safety, such as required hair nets.
California was the first state to pass the Crown Act. In Louisville, Metro Council passed a CROWN Act ordinance in July 2021.
“Whether your hair is long, short, curly, kinky, your crown is your crown,” Dominique Joy Thompson, Miss Black KY USA 2023 said. “And I think we should celebrate people’s crowns as they are.”
There is a companion Bill in the house, House Bill 205 that has not moved yet. The senate did not hear Senate Bill 63 on Wednesday.
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