On Wednesday, Feb. 1, the first day of Black History Month, Gov. Tim Walz signed into law the CROWN Act, which explicitly prohibits racial discrimination based on natural hair texture and hairstyles such as braids, locs, and twists.
“Discrimination has no place in Minnesota,” said Governor Walz. “By signing the CROWN Act, we are sending a message that Black Minnesotans deserve to live and work free from discrimination. Today we are taking an important step in creating a more equitable Minnesota.”
“The CROWN Act will ensure today’s generation and future generations of Black Minnesotans don’t experience the discrimination that has existed for far too long in our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Black people in Minnesota, and across the country, deserve to show up as their full, beautiful selves, without the fear of hair discrimination.”
The CROWN Act, HF 37 Ch. 3, adds clear language to the definition of race in the Minnesota Human Rights Act that includes natural hair textures and hairstyles preventing discrimination on the basis of hair.
“I am proud of my colleagues for passing the CROWN Act into law,” said the chief author of the House bill Rep. Esther Agbaje (DFL-Minneapolis) following the Senate’s passing of the legislation last month. “Hair has been used as a proxy for race to deter qualified and talented individuals from applying for jobs and showing up to spaces as their authentic selves”
“The CROWN Act will ensure that no Minnesotan now or in the future can be discriminated against because of their natural hair,” said Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, author of the Senate bill. “This kind of discrimination disproportionately affects Black women, who deserve to experience a welcoming environment in our state. Recognizing the right to wear natural hair in the workplace is another step toward creating a more inclusive Minnesota.”
A ceremonial bill signing will take place later this week.
Source: This story was provided in part by the Office of Gov. Tim Walz.
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