Groups Come Together in Support of CROWN ACT

More than 20 groups have joined together to leverage their power and push for the passage of what has been monikered the CROWN Act (House Bill 41), which would protect students and workers from discrimination based on their natural hairstyles.

“It is often said that together we are strong, but too often that has meant Black women and advocates pushing for what they need to be healthy and succeed while organizations led by white people stood back and expressed support quietly with little action or effort,” the Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom said in a statement.

The group publicly launched a sign-on letter to bring together the organizations and join advocates of the bill to push for the legislation. The letter can be found at

“Silence is complicity with the very real discrimination that Black, Indigenous and other people of color faace every day in every sector across our state and our country. We must act,” The Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom stated. “The CROWN Act centers the needs of Black women. We believe that it is critical for white allies to be explicit about race and to make active, ongoing and intentional commitments to dismantling white supremacy and to take concrete action to advance racial justice and equity.”

The bill, which was brought about by Representative Candace Newell (D-New Orleans), notes that people have been discriminated against based on their hair texture, natural hairstyles, and protective hair choices.

“The impact of hair discrimination cannot be overstated,” The Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom stated. “Policies that criminalize natural hair have been used to justify the removal of Black children from classrooms and adults from their employment. The way a person wears their hair is about self-expression and for many may be woven into their identity and a celebration of their heritage.”

The Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom statement noted that Black hair has been policed unjustly in offices and in classrooms over the past decades.

“We are speaking out together to urge lawmakers to pass this bill as a first step to begin to address the rampant and long-standing inequities in our systems that serve to harm and deny equal opportunity to Black Louisianans,” the statement reads. 

The organizations that have already signed on are:

  • The Amandla Group
  • Basic Necessities Diaper Bank
  • Catholics for Choice
  • Center for Reproductive Rigths
  • If/When/How: Lawyering For Reproductive Justice – Tulane Chapter
  • Independent Women’s Organization of Greater New Orleans (IWO) 
  • League of Women Voters
  • Legislative Agenda for Women (LAW) Coalition 
  • Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom 
  • Lift Louisiana 
  • Louisiana NOW
  • Louisiana Progress 
  • Louisiana Trans Advocates
  • National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Greater New Orleans Chapter, Inc.
  • National Council of Jewish Women – Greater New Orleans Section
  • New Orleans Maternal and Child Health Coalition
  • Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
  • Real Name Campaign NOLA 
  • Reproductive Justice Action Collective (reJAC) 
  • Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR)
  • Students Advocating for Equity in Medicine
  • Women With a Vision (WWAV) 

“The CROWN ACT is not just about hair and it is not a cosmetic issue,” Coalition Coordinator Jessica Frankel said. “It goes deeper than that. It is about cultural identity and bodily autonomy. It is about economic justice and public and environmental health. It is only a first step, but it is an important one. We demand swift action on this legislation.”

Last year, all three CROWN Act, short for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, bills failed in the Louisiana Legislature. There was unanimous approval from the Senate, but they failed to get out of a House committee.

After a vote of 8-6 in the Senate, the bill has been advanced to the full House of Representatives.


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