COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The CROWN Act was passed in the city of Columbus in 2021 as a way to empower people of color to wear their hair naturally by cutting down on discrimination.
The CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, adds two provisions to the Columbus city code:
- “Race” is inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair textures and protective and cultural hairstyles; and
- “Protective and cultural hairstyles” includes, but is not limited to, such hairstyles as braids, locs, cornrows, bantu knots, afros, and twists, whether or not hair extensions or treatments are used to create or maintain any such style, and whether or not hair ornaments, beads or head wraps adorn the hair.
More than a year after its passage, Columbus Community Relations Commissioner Mary Howard is still raising awareness for how the CROWN Act benefits the community.
On Saturday, she helped sponsor a celebration on natural hair for young women and girls called Hair-story.
“Educate and celebrate young Black girls so they can feel confident in who they are and not be held back because of the way they wear their hair,” Howard said about the event.
Since the policy went into place, there haven’t been any reports of hair discrimination brought to the city, and Howard is proud Columbus is at the forefront of the fight against discrimination.