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C.R.O.W.N.- Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair

The inherent beauty of hair representing Pennsylvania’s wealth of cultural and experiential diversity is the driving force behind the proposed CROWN Act. The legislation, HB 1394, would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to prohibit discrimination based on hair texture or style. Sponsored by state Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes, of Allegheny County, HB 1394 won approval of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in July and awaits Senate consideration.  Read more about the PHRC support of the CROWN Act here

Nationwide, 23 states have passed their own versions of CROWN Acts, including Pennsylvania's neighbors New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. ationally, the CROWN Act movement is led by Adjoa B. Asamoah, national advisor for Black engagement for the Biden-Harris campaign. CROWN stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. A bill that passed the U.S. House but is still awaiting Senate consideration would specifically ban race-based discrimination in relation to hair choices.

In August 2023, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) announced new regulations, more clearly explaining the definitions of 'sex,' 'religious creed,' and 'race,' that are now effective in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PHRC is empowered to investigate complaints of discrimination on the basis of race, which includes: traits associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles. It does not infringe on employers’ rights to implement workplace safety standards. 

Under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), protections are available in employment, housing, commercial property, public accommodations and educational institutions. 

Under the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act (PFEOA), protections are available for most post-secondary schools. Coverage may otherwise be available under the PHRA, except those schools that are fully private. 


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More Information about Hair Discrimination