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Local organizations say bill banning discrimination based on hair is necessary to help combat racism

Lawmakers in Hartford discussed a bill Tuesday that would ban discrimination based on hairstyles associated with race.

News 12 Staff

Feb 10, 2021, 1:17 AM

Updated 1,228 days ago

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Lawmakers in Hartford discussed a bill Tuesday that would ban discrimination based on hairstyles associated with race.
Before the hearing, local legislators and women from the YWCA talked about what this bill, Promoting An Open World For Natural Hair, means to them.
Fern Speller, co-owner of In Your Hair Salon in Norwalk, says the majority of her clients have talked to her about discrimination about their natural hair in the work place. She says she believes in the power of the legislation because the Black community should be able to wear their hair naturally.
Politicians say the reality of racism isn't always overt acts but often subtler topics like hair grooming policies.
State Sen. Julie Kushner, a pioneer of the bill, says we can't address systemic racism without dealing with equity issues on every platform.
Adrienne Cochrane, the CEO of the YWCA in the Hartford region, says there should be more concentration on what's in women's heads and not what's on top.
"For people who think, 'Well it's just about hair,' it's not just about hair. It's about choice. It's about respect, and it's about having the ability to rock your crowning glory however you want to," said Cochrane.
Christina Jackson, a 13-year-old youth ambassador for the YWCA, says the bill can also protect children such as herself from discrimination.


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