Mayes, McClinton advocate for ending hair discrimination

The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act, abbreviated as the CROWN Act, would prohibit hair discrimination

HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes, D-Allegheny, and Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton, D-Delaware/Phila., recently introduced the CROWN Act, to end hair discrimination in Pennsylvania.

The CROWN Act (H.B. 1394) would update Pennsylvania’s current anti-discrimination law to prohibit discrimination based on hair type, hair texture or hairstyle.

“We cannot continue to stand by while people of color, especially Black Americans, are targeted, harassed and denied opportunities based on their hair type, hair texture or hairstyle,” Mayes said. “As a Black woman, I introduced the CROWN Act with Speaker McClinton to prohibit hair discrimination in Pennsylvania. It is time we update anti-discrimination laws, so people do not become targets of discrimination in the workplace, schools and social settings. People should be judged on their inherent worth and humanity, not their hair.”

According to a research study conducted at Duke University, Black women with natural hairstyles are perceived as less professional than Black women with straightened hair. A recent research study by the CROWN Coalition and Dove also reports that Black women with textured hair are twice as likely to experience microaggressions in the workplace than Black women with straighter hair.

Within Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh previously passed CROWN ordinances. Since 2019, 22 states have passed the CROWN Act into law. The CROWN Act was previously introduced by McClinton in 2021 and 2019.