SAINT PAUL, Minn. – This afternoon, the Minnesota Senate passed the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act), chief authored by Sen. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL – Minneapolis). The legislation adds discrimination based on the style or texture of someone’s natural hair to the racial discrimination protections under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
“The CROWN Act will ensure that no Minnesotan now or in the future can be discriminated against because of their natural hair,” Sen. Champion said. “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.”
“I am proud of my colleagues for passing the CROWN Act into law,” added Rep. Esther Agbaje (DFL-Minneapolis), the chief author of the companion bill in the House of Representatives. “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 passing of the CROWN Act signifies our commitment to ensuring every Minnesotan, especially our young children from black and brown communities, are given the opportunity to be themselves and feel empowered to be themselves.”
The Senate also passed another bill chief authored by Sen. Bobby Joe Champion which recognizes Juneteenth (June 19) as a state holiday.
“Great nations do not ignore their most painful moments, they face them. Today, we faced the pain and suffering caused by the legacy of slavery and segregation by designating Juneteenth as a day to be commemorated by Minnesotans,” said Sen. Champion. “This is about acknowledging our nation’s struggles, celebrating our history, and recognizing the importance of forging our future together.”