Gov. Lamont Holds Signing Ceremony for CROWN Act

connecticut state capitol
NBC Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont held a bill signing ceremony for the CROWN Act, which is a bill aimed at stopping discrimination in the workplace and schools against natural hairstyles. Lamont signed the bill on Friday and the ceremony was held on Wednesday morning.

The CROWN Act, short for an Act Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, seeks to end hair discrimination often experienced by Black women for their natural and protective hairstyles.

Connecticut lawmakers are hoping to make Connecticut the eighth state to ban discrimination in the workplace and schools for how they wear their hair.

Rep. Robyn Porter (D-New Haven), a sponsor of the bill, said that Black people may be judged, reprimanded and passed over for promotion or even fired based on their hair.

"The way Black women, men, and children choose to wear their hair has absolutely no bearing on our abilities to perform professionally, academically, or otherwise," she wrote in a Facebook post discussing the legislation.

The Crown Act now makes hair discrimination illegal in seven states, Tracie Strahan reports.

A Dove study found 80% of women reported they changed their hair from its natural state to fit into the corporate environment.

Last year was the first year the legislation was raised and it passed the Labor and Public Employees Committee 11 to 3 but the session was cut short due to COVID-19, so it never made it to the House for a vote. 

The CROWN Act stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge shares the emotional personal stories of hair discrimination that drove her to help introduce this legislation on behalf of Black women.

This time, the bill passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support before the governor signed it into law on Friday.

Connecticut joins the likes of California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Colorado and Washington, who have all banned discrimination based on hairstyles like braids, locks, bantu twists, weaves, and wigs.

Contact Us