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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 31, 2020 11:24 AM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes
To: All Senate members
Subject: Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act
In the near future I will introduce legislation to prohibit discrimination based on hair style and hair texture.

As you may recall, in early December 2019 a video went viral of a high school student in New Jersey who had to choose between forfeiting a match or cutting his locs or locks.

Recently New Jersey became the third state to expand the definition of race in their nondiscrimination statutes to include hair style and hair texture. California and New York have also expanded their definition of race to include hair style and texture. Since then, a number of local governments across the country have amended their ordinances to include hair style and hair texture into the definition of race in their nondiscrimination statutes.

Under my legislation, the Human Relations Act would be amended to clarify the term “race” and will also include traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles.

Representatives McClinton and Lee have introduced the CROWN Act in the House of Representatives.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB964