Tuesday, October 4, 2022


Postal unions fight for higher standards of service, a proposed high-speed rail line could make a N.Y.-D.C. trip just an hour, and a study finds oilfield gas flares are more harmful than had been thought.


The FBI says China and Russia are sowing election integrity disinformation, President Biden commits $60 million to help Puerto Rico, and New York City's mayor is bewildered by the silence over the migrant crisis.


Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

New CT Law Combats Hairstyle Discrimination


Friday, March 12, 2021   

HARTFORD, Conn. - Legislation creating a respectful and open world for a person's natural hair - known as the CROWN Act - is now state law in Connecticut.

A signing ceremony was held Wednesday, with speeches from Gov. Ned Lamont, the bill's legislative champions, and community supporters.

Melinda Johnson, director of Community Engagement and Advocacy with the YWCA Hartford, spoke at the event, and said the CROWN Act is an example of transformative legislation that combats racist practices.

"If an individual experiences this form of discrimination, they have the right to pursue a lawsuit," said Johnson. "That, in and of itself, validates what Black and Brown people have been experiencing for so long, and had no ability to seek justice for."

The law includes acceptance of ethnic hair texture and styles in the workplace.

In 2019, a study by the beauty-products company Dove found that one in five Black women working in an office or sales setting said they've had to alter their natural hair in order to feel accepted at work.

Growing up, Johnson said she was told by others - from family members to other Black women - that she had to "look the part" to land a job.

"Part of that had to do with how my hair was presented, and making sure that it was 'up' and straight," said Johnson. "So, when I got into the workforce, and when confronted with Eurocentric grooming standards, it didn't seem like it was a problem, because I had already been cultured to suppress my identity in these spaces."

Johnson asserted her story is not unique. She said every Black person - man or woman, boy or girl - has stories of discrimination involving their hair.

The CROWN Act aims to change the narrative.

According to Johnson, the problem won't be solved simply through anti-bias education, but needs direct action.

"And it shows that as a state, we recognize that discrimination and racism is a structural and a systemic issue," said Johnson. "It's one that cannot just be conquered by education or other means of conformity, that this is something that we have to set standards for."

While its backers see the CROWN Act as a big win, Johnson said he hopes Gov. Lamont will declare racism a public-health crisis, and that lawmakers will take action to push for a better quality of life for all Connecticut residents.

get more stories like this via email

The Environmental Defense Fund estimates methane emissions account for at least 25% of global warming. (Adobe Stock)


A new study found gas flaring in oil-producing states like North Dakota is not as effective in limiting harmful emissions when compared to long-standi…

Social Issues

Community and technical college faculty members are preparing for the legislative session in Olympia, and among the top priorities for the American …

Social Issues

The Holyoke area is home to many Puerto Rican families who say they will do what they can to help people there as they recover from the latest hurrica…

In recent years, a range of studies and reports show Minnesota has some of the worst racial disparities in the nation, including in the areas of homeownership and education. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

On the heels of a regional conference, multiple groups are working on new solutions for reducing the poverty gap in Minnesota. Nonprofits, …

Social Issues

The pandemic took a toll on the nursing profession, resulting in shortages across the nation and especially Texas, ranked the second-hardest-hit …

Social Issues

Advocates for a man wrongfully imprisoned for decades due to misconduct by a Durham Police detective and released in 2016, want the city to honor a …

Social Issues

Groups fighting hunger in California say untold suffering could be avoided if the policies championed at the latest White House conference are put int…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021