N.M. College Students Gather for Hair Equality

The University of New Mexico Invited college students from across N.M. to participate in their hosting of the virtual CROWN Act Townhall on Feb. 4.

In this conference they discussed the CROWN Act which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. It was created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition to ensure the protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles.

The objective of the CROWN Act is to create a circle and to discuss the impact of anti-blackness and hair discrimination, as well as to practice the effects of deep listening of other people’s experiences in the hopes that many will leave the circle with a different perspective regarding natural hair.

The CROWN Act defines the Crown as being a reward of victory or mark of honor and/or Imperial or regal power. It reminds you how beautiful and empowering it is to wear your natural hair, or as they say, your crown.

The presenter, Ebony Isis Booth, reminds and encourages the attendees to fix their crown, speak up, and to be unapologetically themselves. Booth created an incredible atmosphere and made everyone feel welcomed, safe, and connected.

Dr. Sheryl Felecia Means professor at UNM explained the historical context and what it would mean to N.M. if legislation passed the CROWN Act. She explains The CROWN Act will allow an individual to go out with their hairstyle without being legally scrutinized. The African American culture had hairstyles that indicated their social status, and it was a part of their identity. It wasn't until slavery that the hair of an African American was turned into something negative. Slavery began to dehumanize black individuals by shaving their heads as punishment.

For those who tuned into the Zoom it provided them with the opportunity to gain knowledge of the importance of hair for the African American culture. Also, giving the opportunity to fully grasp the purpose and meaning of the movement. Every testimonial given at the meeting truly captivated the feelings of the individuals of being excluded and isolated. The CROWN Act is aimed to bring self-love, confidence, and to give a platform to these individuals.

The Coalition is aiming to get the CROWN Act passed in NM at the legislative session taking place Jan 4- Jan 15. As of right now only 7 states in the U.S. have passed the CROWN ACT. If you are interested in learning more about the CROWN Act and if you would also like to support the CROWN Act you can visit their website at https://www.thecrownact.com.

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