Walz signs CROWN Act, banning racial discrimination based on hairstyles

Gov. Tim Walz has signed a bill that prohibits racial discrimination based on hairstyles.

Wednesday, the governor signed the “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act” into law. However, a ceremonial bill signing is planned for later this week.

The bill was approved by the Minnesota House in 2020 and 2022 but stalled in the Senate both years. This year, the House approved it a week into the session and the Senate gave it final approval last week.

“Discrimination has no place in Minnesota. By signing the CROWN Act, we are sending a message that Black Minnesotans deserve to live and work free from discrimination,” Walz said in a statement. “Today we are taking an important step in creating a more equitable Minnesota.”

“The CROWN Act will ensure today’s generation and future generations of Black Minnesotans don’t experience the discrimination that has existed for far too long in our state,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan added. “Black people in Minnesota, and across the country, deserve to show up as their full, beautiful selves, without the fear of hair discrimination.”

The legislation adds clear language to the definition of race in the Minnesota Human Rights Act to include natural hair textures and styles like braids, locs and twists.