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ACLU presses lawmakers on racial justice

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 19:07:17-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Every year, the ACLU of Kentucky sets legislative goals. This year, racial justice is a big part of them.

Over the last several months, systemic racism has been at the forefront of important conversations happening in Kentucky. And while the focus is on the big task of dismantling systemic inequalities, the ACLU says smaller changes can be made now, and those changes will help Black Kentuckians' lives.

One of those bills is the C.R.O.W.N. ACT, which makes hair discrimination illegal.

"My hair right now is in its natural state and to think that Kentuckians get pushed out of employment opportunities because of the way they're born and who they are is very sickening," said Keturah Herron, a policy strategist for the ACLU of Kentucky. "And this is one of those bills that's low hanging fruit that can make an impact in several other areas."

For some people, specifically those who are white, the need for this bill may come as a surprise. But many people in the black community know this type of discrimination exists. Herron says sometimes it's obvious from the job posting.

"In the job description, it explicitly said that a person could not have dreadlocks. We know there's many black people who wear their hairstyle in dreadlocks, so that's one example of that," she said.

The CROWN Act is HB 43 in this year's General Assembly. So far, the bill has been introduced, but no action has been taken.