Statement by NOW President Christian F. Nunes
WASHINGTON, D.C.–As the president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) – and as a Black woman, I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the defeat of the CROWN Act in the Senate.
This legislation, which sought to ban discrimination against natural hair and hairstyles associated with a particular race or ethnicity, was a vital step toward combating racial discrimination and promoting diversity and inclusion in our society.
While many states have passed this important legislation, the Senate made it clear that we still have a long way to go in the fight against racism and prejudice. It is unacceptable that people continue to face discrimination simply because of the way they choose to style their hair.
According to Dove CROWN Research Studies, Black women are “80 percent more likely to change their natural hair to meet social norms or expectations at work” and “1.5x more likely to be sent home from work because of their hair.” Meanwhile, “100 percent of Black elementary school girls in majority-white schools (who report experiencing hair discrimination) experienced discrimination by the age of 10.”
We will not be discouraged by this setback and will continue to fight for the rights and dignity of all people, regardless of their race or ethnicity. We will continue to stand up for justice and equality, and we will not rest until every person is treated with the respect and fairness they deserve.
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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org