Michigan Senate Passes Regulation: Hair Won't Hold Anyone Back

Edy Zoo

In a momentous stride towards inclusivity, the Michigan Senate has passed a regulation affirming that wearing natural hair should not hinder anyone's progress in education or public life. The move, known as Senate Bill 90 and the CROWN Act, aims to foster an environment where individuals can embrace their heritage and identity without fear of discrimination.

Renee McCauley, the great-grandniece of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, expressed her delight at the passing of the CROWN Act, highlighting the significance it holds for her family and their history. She shared how her great-grandmother migrated from Alabama to Detroit to escape racism, finding solace and acceptance in the city that allowed her to live authentically.

I think that's a step in saying OK to some more of the ideals of embracing how people are as their natural selves," McCauley stated, emphasizing the importance of the bill. "With the passing of Senate Bill 90 and the CROWN Act, I'm happy because I think it's a great day for Michigan."

The CROWN Act, which stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, has already been enacted in twenty states, forty-four cities, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, five states have yet to pass the act into law. The bill will now proceed to the House for further consideration.

During a news conference following the act's passage, Senator Sarah Anthony from Lansing recounted incidents of hair-based discrimination, shedding light on the pervasive nature of the issue. She shared stories of a young girl in Mount Pleasant who had her hair cut by school staff, an elementary student in Jackson who was denied the opportunity to pose for school pictures due to her braids, and a man in central Michigan who was denied health insurance on the basis of his hairstyle.

Chris White, the state director of Restaurant Opportunity Centers United in Michigan, delved into the specific challenges faced by individuals in the restaurant industry. He questioned whether waitresses would be scheduled for shifts during peak hours, when tips are plentiful, and if they would have equal opportunities for advancement into senior supervisor or area director positions. White emphasized the need to address hair discrimination and its impact on career growth.

The CROWN Act serves as a crucial safeguard against discrimination based on hair texture and racial hairstyles, including braids, dreadlocks, twists, and afros, among others. By legally protecting individuals from such bias, the act promotes a more inclusive and equitable society.

Michigan's commitment to recognizing the importance of natural hair and embracing diverse cultural expressions sets a powerful example for other states. With the passing of Senate Bill 90 and the CROWN Act, Michigan takes a significant step towards eliminating hair discrimination and ensuring equal opportunities for all. It is a resounding victory for individuals who have long fought against societal pressures to conform and a beacon of hope for a more accepting and inclusive future.

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Edy Zoo is an author who writes about social subjects. He contributes to the ever-growing library of social critics. He approaches local social subjects and local news covering Auburn-Opelika and surrounding cities from an objective point of view. He also holds liberal views.

Auburn, AL

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