Kansas bill aims to end discrimination against natural hair

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Monday morning, Kansas lawmakers will go back to work on a proposed bill that would ban hair discrimination in the Sunflower State.

It’s part of an effort, nationwide, as more black women, look to wear more natural hairstyles.

Supporters of Senate Bill 250 are hoping Kansas follows the likes of California, New York and New Jersey, who’ve already passed bills banning hairstyle discrimination.

They say they’d love to see people rock their natural hair without any repercussions.

Earlier this month, Wichita Senator Oletha Faust-Gooudea introduced ‘Senate Bill 250’, also known as the CROWN Act. The bill would ban discrimination against workers with traditionally black hairstyles.

“The bill would essentially add to the definition of race, characteristics related to hairstyles and hair textures. Hairstyles such as locks, braids and twists,” Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet Founder, Michele Watley said.

CROWN stands for ‘Create a respectful and open workplace for natural hair.’ Supporters of the bill say passing this law should be a no-brainer for Kansas lawmakers.

“Eurocentric beauty standards are standards that we can`t meet naturally. So we have to adhere to and engage in a number of processes that are expensive, that are time consuming, that are damaging and possibly harmful,” Watley said.

Leslie Kennedy says it’s time for people to stop being singled out.

“I think its out there and people kind of look at you different. But I mean, this is our natural state. So, what do you do,” Kennedy said.

An initial hearing on the bill was held over three weeks ago. But it still hasn’t moved out of committee.

There are 22 other states considering passing similar legislation, including Missouri.



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