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Texas Senate overwhelmingly passes CROWN Act

HB 567 would prohibit schools and workplaces from discriminating based on natural hair and certain hairstyles — including braids, dreadlocks and twists.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Senate Friday passed House Bill 567, the CROWN Act on Friday, a bill that would ban race-based hair discrimination in Texas.

The CROWN Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, would prohibit discrimination on the basis of hair texture or protective hairstyle associated with race.

It passed the Senate 29-1, just weeks after it overwhelmingly passed the House 143-5.

Representative Rhetta Bowers, Author of the bill, had the following to say:

I am incredibly thankful to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Chairman Bryan Hughes for swiftly advancing The CROWN Act. I also owe a great deal of gratitude to Senator Borris L. Miles, our Senate Sponsor, for shepherding the bill through the Senate. I must express my gratitude for CROWN Coalition Co-Creator Adjoa B. Asamoah, for all of her hard work and support, here on the ground and from afar. And, as always, I am thankful for all of the supporters and advocates that have come to their State Capitol to testify for the bill!

Bowers went on to say she appreciates the vast bipartisan support shown by the Texas Legislature, and she respectfully "ask that Governor Abbott signs this great piece of legislation." 

On Monday, WFAA Daybreak anchor Tashara Parker testified in support of HB 567 following her extensive coverage of the CROWN Act in the WFAA Original series, Rooted.

The bill, from State Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Garland) would prohibit schools and workplaces from discriminating based on natural hair and certain hairstyles — including braids, dreadlocks and twists.

A companion measure, Senate Bill 1356 has been filed in the upper chamber by State Sen. Borris Miles, D-Houston.

Miles, Senate Sponsor of the bill, added the following:

I am pleased that we successfully passed the CROWN Act out of the Senate Chamber with bipartisan support. I want to personally thank the CROWN Act Champ, Adjoa B. Asamoah, the architect of this bill for leading the charge, not just in Texas, but the nation, to protect Texans of color from discrimination. I also want to thank Representative Rhetta Andrews Bowers, the author of the CROWN Act, for bringing a supermajority of bipartisan support in the Texas House. This bill would not have been possible without these two outstanding and outspoken Black women. I look forward to the governor signing this bill into law to protect against race-based hair discrimination in the workplace, in our schools and housing.

Last week, the Dallas County Commissioners Court unanimously passed a resolution in support of the CROWN Act. Commissioner John Wiley Price says he wants to send a message that hair discrimination based on race or national origin do not reflect the county’s values.

The resolution finds that “the CROWN Act is worthy of support and that hair discrimination based on race or national origin does not reflect our values.” Dallas County further pledges to “align its personnel policies with the CROWN Act to ensure that we have a respectful and open workplace for natural hair.”

Bowers issued a statement expressing gratitude for the move by Dallas County Commissioner's court.

“I am thankful for Commissioner John Wiley Price for offering a resolution in support of the CROWN Act, and for the Dallas County Commissioners’ Court for adopting the resolution unanimously,” said Bowers. “The CROWN Act is not only needed civil rights legislation, but it is deeply personal to me as well – so the support of my county is incredibly meaningful. I appreciate everyone that has joined in support of the CROWN Act, and together, I know that we will pass it for all Texans.”

Both Dallas County and the City of Pflugerville have passed local CROWN act resolutions. Harris County and the City of Austin have already passed similar local legislation as well.

Twenty states have passed the CROWN Act since the national coalition was created in 2019, according to the coalition’s tracking.

Bowers said his hope is that Texas can become the 21st state to enact the law.

HB 567 now heads to Governor Greg Abbott's desk to be considered for approval.

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