Anti-hair discrimination bill closer to being passed in Charleston

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The CROWN Act may have not passed the state legislature this year, but now the City of Charleston is taking up its own bill that aims to end hair discrimination.

Just a few days ago the Rules and Ordinances Committee unanimously voted to pass the Crown Bill for the City of Charleston.

It would ban discrimination of ethnic and African-American hairstyles throughout the municipality.

Back in March, Tamara Rizk, owner of She vs Her Beauty Supply shared a post on her business social media page of Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin’s stance on the CROWN Act.

“To see the city take this stance on it is very important for me as a Black woman,” said Rizk.

The municipal bill is now one step closer to being enacted.

“CROWN was created in 2019 by Dove, the soap manufacturer, there are so many levels of government — state, federal and local, that I’m sure Charleston as a city wants to offer that support,” said Jeanine Faegre, chair of the Rules and Ordinances Committee.

This will mean employers, schools and workplaces cannot discriminate based on hairstyle or hair textures.

Rizk will tell you, hair discrimination still happens.

“One reason my business even exists is because of the beauty standards that were put on Black women to look a certain way,” she said.

“I have a lot of women who come in and say ‘hey, I can’t wear that to work,’ I myself had a boss tell me when I had braids and I had taken them out, ‘oh your hair looks more professional now.'”

In Beckley, a student-athlete was told he couldn’t play a game until he cut his dreads off.

His mother spoke about it at a CROWN Act rally earlier this year.

“He’s got like this pick and he’s trying to rip out his dreads; if anybody knows when you have dreadlocks it’s not as simple as taking out dreads,” she said.

The CROWN bill will make this unlawful, Rizk also hopes it will help women.

“I hope that this CROWN bill makes them more comfortable to be themselves,” she said.

The bill now goes to the council for a full vote on June 7th.

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