Lawrence to consider CROWN Act, banning hair discrimination

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Lawrence City Commission will consider an ordinance that would ban discrimination based on hair at its Tuesday meeting.

The ordinance would declare that restrictions on natural hair textures and styles, such as braids, locs, afros, curls and twists, would violate the city’s anti-discrimination regulations.

This will be the commission’s first reading of what has widely become known as the CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.

According to research funded by Dove, Black women are 80% more likely to change their natural hair style at work and are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work because of their hairstyle.

If approved Tuesday, the Lawrence commission would have a second reading for final approval next week.

Kansas City passed a similar measure in 2020, one of the first U.S. cities to join the CROWN Act coalition, and Jackson County passed its own ordinance in 2022.

The CROWN Act is in effect in 22 states, including Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, California and more, but Kansas and Missouri lawmakers have not passed such legislation yet.

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