Tucson Bans Hair Discrimination The Hill

The city of Tucson, Arizona, on Tuesday decided to ban dress codes that discriminate against hair textures and styles in schools and in the workplace.

As reported by the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson City Council voted to pass the CROWN Act to create a respectful and open world for natural hair. Tucson becomes the 10th city in the US to pass such an ordinance.

“We want to make sure there are no barriers for people in the workplace and in schools,” Annie Sykes, president of Tucson’s Black Women’s Task Force, said the newspaper said. “These barriers are usually rooted in discrimination and prejudice.”

Sykes cited studies that showed that because of their hair, black women are significantly more likely to be sent home from work and more likely to feel they need to change it to fit in with work.

The Daily Star reports that the new rule applies to any company or entity that is public Accommodations. Those found to be violating the rule will be punished under civil law.

“We should be so much better than that in this community, and we are,” said Councilor Steve Kozachik (D), who presented the bill with Tucson Vice Mayor Nikki Lee (D).

Kozachik had previously said it was “disgusting, degrading and discriminatory” for students to be forced to cut their hair to play sports, the paper said.

California was the first state in the US to pass a hair discrimination law in 2019.

“Our nation’s history is riddled with laws and social norms that equate ‘blackness’ and its associated physical characteristics, such as dark skin, kinky and curly hair, with a badge of inferiority that is sometimes treated separately and unequal . ” reads the California measure.

Later that year, New York State passed Law 07797, “Prohibiting Racial Discrimination Based on Natural Hair or Hairstyles”.

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