Tempe passage of CROWN Act makes it unlawful to discriminate on basis of hair texture and styles

Tempe City Council has approved the CROWN Act, making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of hair texture or styles like braids, twists and bantu knots.  –wranglernews.com file photo

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Tempe has expanded its Anti-Discrimination Ordinance by incorporating the CROWN Act into it.

The CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” prohibits race-based hair discrimination, which includes the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles, such as braids, locs, twists and knots, in the workplace and IN public schools.

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods

“The unanimous Council approval of the CROWN Act is a testament that our anti-discrimination ordinance is a living, breathing set of codes that will continue to expand and change as we progress as a community,” Tempe Mayor Corey Woods said. “I’m thankful and proud of our community members who have brought this to our attention.”

Woods and Councilmember Jennifer Adams began working on the CROWN Act over the summer. They moved it to committee in August.

Tempe’s African American Advisory Committee and Human Relations Commission recommended that the CROWN Act become part of Tempe’s ordinance. Until Nov. 9, when Tempe City Council incorporated the protections during its regular meeting, Tucson was the only Arizona city with this protection. Only 33 cities and counties in the U.S. currently have it.

Jennifer Adams

The need for a law was inspired by the CROWN Research Study, which found that Black women are 30 percent more likely to be made aware of a formal workplace-appearance policy than their non-Black colleagues. Black women also are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work due to their hairstyle and are 83 percent more likely to report being judged more harshly on their looks than other women.

Tempe’s Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, which was passed in 2014, now includes provisions that protect against race-based discrimination based on an individual’s hairstyle at workplaces, in housing and public accommodations.

The Anti-Discrimination Ordinance makes it unlawful to discriminate against people based on race, color, age, religion, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, U.S. military veteran status or familial status. Tempe residents overwhelmingly voted in 2014 to reflect the ordinance protections within the Tempe City Charter.

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