AKRON, Ohio — On Monday, Akron City Council passed legislation making hair discrimination illegal.
In February 2020, Councilwoman Tara L. Mosely Samples and Councilman Rich Swirsky introduced the CROWN ACT—which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair—which prohibits discrimination based on natural hairstyle and texture.
The resolution was passed unanimously in Akron City Council Monday. The legislation would prohibit race-based hair discrimination in the workplace and schools.
“This is yet another step in making sure ALL people have the same equal protections and are exempt from discrimination here in the City of Akron. Today we move our City forward in the right direction," Samples in a news release.
Variations of the CROWN Act have been passed in at least seven other states, including California, New York and Virginia, as well as in cities like Cincinnati. In March, two state Representatives Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) and Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) introduced a bill that "would ban discriminatory policies in Ohio schools that penalize students, especially students of color, for wearing natural hairstyles that embrace their cultural identities."