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H. 4554:
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 was redrafted and passed unanimously by the House (155-0) on March 17th, 2022, and the Senate (40-0) on March 30th, 2022.

Floor Speech

Facts & Figures

Press Coverage

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Boston25

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.

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NBC Boston

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.

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Channel 7 Boston

‘Going to fight for them’: Twin sisters working to make hair discrimination illegal in Mass.

March 10, 2022

By Amaka Ubaka

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CommonWealth

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. 

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Bloomberg

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.

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WBUR

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

CROWN Coalition

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.