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Illinois Passes Legislation To Prohibit Racial Discrimination Based On Hairstyle And Hair Texture



Illinois Passes Legislation To Prohibit Racial Discrimination Based On Hairstyle And Hair Texture

Illinois Passes Legislation To Prohibit Racial Discrimination Based On Hairstyle:

Illinois’ CROWN Act was a tremendous step in fighting racism and promoting diversity. Senate Bill (S.B.) 3616 was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on July 1, 2022. The CROWN Act, short for “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair,” was a turning moment in the fight against racial discrimination. It significantly amends the Illinois Human Rights Act.

The IHRA’s “race” redefinition is vital. On January 1, 2023, the CROWN Act expanded this description to include “traits associated with race, including, but not restricted to, hair texture and protective hairstyles like braids, locks, and twists.” This significant change means that the IHRA now expressly defines hair texture and hairdo prejudice as racial discrimination.

The IHRA’s expansion is a significant step toward recognizing and appreciating Black people’s natural hair textures and styles. It immediately targets hair-related prejudice, creating a more inclusive and courteous atmosphere.

Illinois Joins A Growing List Of States Addressing Racial Discrimination

Illinois joins a growing list of states that have passed CROWN Act measures to fight racism. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Nebraska, New Mexico, New Jersey, Tennessee, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington have passed this crucial legislation. 

The Virgin Islands Crown Act of 2022 expanded this vital statute in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Please note that this movement is not restricted to certain states. Federal support for the CROWN Act is growing. 

H.R. 2116, the CROWN Act, passed the House of Representatives in March 2022, demonstrating bipartisan support for workplace racism elimination. S. 888, related legislation in the U.S. Senate, highlights the joint effort to end racial discrimination based on hairstyle or texture.

Impact On Employers And The Fight Against Racism

For Illinois businesses, the CROWN Act’s definition of “race” extension has far-reaching effects. Employers may need to revise their grooming rules to comply with the new law. This proactive action ensures that their workplace is devoid of racism and treats all workers with respect and decency, regardless of hair type or style.

The CROWN Act’s expanded definition of “race” advances the battle against racism. It affirms variety, acceptance, and individuality. The CROWN Act represents Illinois’s dedication to ending racism and encouraging Black hair equality, setting an example for other states and the country.

The National Landscape And Federal Progress

Illinois’s CROWN Act shows its dedication to ending racism and encouraging Black hair equality. However, this progress must be considered in the national context. As indicated, Illinois is not alone in seeking equality. Many states have introduced CROWN Act legislation, reflecting a rising national awareness of hairstyle and hair texture-based racial discrimination.

Progress at the federal level is encouraging. The U.S. House of Representatives enacted the CROWN Act (H.R. 2116) in March 2022, demonstrating the federal government’s commitment to equality and inclusion. The Senate’s introduction of related legislation (S. 888) shows bipartisan support for banning workplace racial discrimination.

These federal and state actions show the commitment to ending hairstyle and natural hair prejudice. Expanding the concept of “race” to incorporate these essential dimensions of human identity advances the battle against racism and makes the workplace more inclusive and courteous.

Empowering Individuals And Communities

The CROWN Act empowers people and communities while protecting them from racial discrimination. It shows strong support for Black people who have suffered prejudice based on their natural hair by expressly acknowledging hair texture and protective hairstyles as race-related features.

This new law encourages people to accept their natural hair types and styles without discrimination. It promotes self-acceptance and self-expression, letting employees be themselves at work.

The CROWN Act sparks crucial community discussions. It challenges hair stereotypes and promotes an open dialogue about racism’s effects on life. This strengthens the Black community and other relationships.

Read Also: ISU Student’s Endeavor To Dismantle Misrepresentation Of The Black Community

Challenges And Compliance For Employers

The CROWN Act is a significant step toward ending workplace racism, but it also raises obstacles for companies. Employers must examine and change their grooming policies and practices to comply.

Employers may struggle to discern between professional grooming requirements and those unjustly targeting certain hair types. Maintaining a professional image while preserving individual uniqueness is difficult.

To avoid unintended infractions, compliance requires teaching workers and management about the new law. Companies must foster an inclusive workplace where workers feel secure in their natural hair or hairstyles. It’s a commitment to a workplace without prejudice and discrimination, not merely a legal need.

The CROWN Act affects more than the law. It empowers people, promotes racist discussions, and confronts employers with difficulties and possibilities. Illinois joins the increasing list of states against racial discrimination, emphasizing the value of diversity and respecting hair choices.

The Journey Toward Cultural Acceptance

The CROWN Act’s passage in Illinois is a more significant movement to embrace and value various hair types and styles. This law prohibits racial discrimination based on hairstyle or natural hair. It affirms Black hair’s richness and beauty, which has cultural and historical value.

Black people have been compelled to adhere to Eurocentric beauty standards due to hair stereotypes for ages. The CROWN Act challenges these detrimental traditions and creates a more open and welcoming culture where people may appreciate their diverse hair textures and styles without fear of racism or discrimination.

The Importance Of Education And Awareness

CROWN Act’s effectiveness depends on law reforms, public awareness, and education. People, especially Black people, must grasp their rights under this law. They must know they can be proud of their natural hair and hairstyles at work without prejudice.

Employers and workers must be informed about the CROWN Act to promote inclusion. Employers must understand their duties to prevent racism, and workers must know their rights and report prejudice.

Schools, companies, and community groups should help promote the CROWN Act and its role in fighting racism. Education and open conversation may make society more tolerant and welcoming.

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