The CROWN Act in Massachusetts
Also known as An Act prohibiting discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles, this bill is modeled upon the National CROWN Act and aims to combat hair discrimination in Massachusetts by defining natural hairstyles in statute and prohibiting discrimination based on natural hairstyles in schools, businesses, and other public spaces in the Commonwealth.
The CROWN Act is NOW LAW! On July 26, 2022, Governor Baker held an official signing ceremony alongside the Cook family. The bill was previously passed unanimously by the House (155-0) on March 17th, 2022, and the Senate (40-0) on March 30th, 2022.
Facts & Figures
Mass. House unanimously passes bill banning hair discrimination
March 17, 2022
By Christine McCarthy
MALDEN, Mass. — A bill that would ban discrimination based on someone’s hair is one step closer to becoming law.
Hair Discrimination Bill Moves Closer to Becoming Mass. Law
March 18, 2022
By Shannon Mulaire & Glenn Jones
Massachusetts House lawmakers passed a bill that would make sure no one faces punishment because of their hair.
House votes to ban hairstyle discrimination
March 17, 2022
By Shira Schoenberg
IN 2017, Mya and Deanna Cook, 15-year-old twins, were disciplined because they wore box braids to school at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden.
How to Persuade White Lawmakers to Protect Black Hairstyles
October 13, 2021
By Patrice Peck
In most U.S. states, employers and schools are allowed to discriminate against box braids, locs, and other traditional styles. A coalition of activists and legislators has started to change that.
Bill Targets Discrimination Based On Natural Hairstyles
January 29, 2020
By Chris Van Buskirk
Kim Janey, along with Councilor Lydia Edwards, Rep. Steven Ultrino and other advocates, attended a committee hearing Tuesday to lobby for a proposal that would prohibit discrimination based on natural hairstyles.
Partners & Endorsements
In early 2019, Dove, the National Urban League, Color Of Change, and the Center for Western Law and Poverty co-founded The CROWN Coalition to ‘Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair’. The CROWN Coalition successfully advocated for new state laws that provide protection from race-based hair discrimination, with 7 states passing The CROWN Act in 2019 and early 2020.
New England Blacks in Philanthropy
New England Blacks in Philanthropy is an organization that unites Black philanthropists, trustees and staff of grant making institutions to enhance philanthropy’s ability to address the needs of Black communities nationally and globally.
Mass. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice
Massachusetts Appleseed is part of a non-profit network of 17 public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico. The centers work both collectively and independently to build a society in which opportunities are genuine, access to the law is universal and equal, and government advances the public interest.