Skip to Content

Color Of Change Declares Victory in New Jersey: Ban on Hairstyle Discrimination Advances Economic and Civil Rights Protections for Black Americans

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2019

VP Arisha Hatch: “A movement is building”

Trenton, NJ—  Following the passage of New Jersey bill A-5564/ NJ S-3945 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of hairstyle under the state’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD), Color Of Change–the nation’s largest online racial justice organization–issued the following statement from Vice President Arisha Hatch:

“This bill is a crucial and necessary step toward full protection for Black people in New Jersey from hairstyle discrimination in schools and workplaces.

Hairstyle discrimination is an economic and civil rights issue. Far too often, grooming policies are arbitrarily enforced as a gatekeeping tactic, to regulate Black people’s access to academic and economic opportunities. We know, unquestionably, that hairstyle discrimination limits Black women’s ability to secure employment and impacts children’s participation in athletic competitions — both of which have lasting ramifications.

We thank New Jersey legislators for their leadership in introducing and moving this bill, and for their partnership with civil rights groups throughout this process.

A movement is building.  New Jersey is now the third state in the nation to ban hairstyle discrimination. Color Of Change and its 1.7 million members will continue to advocate in state capitols across the country for a ban on hairstyle discrimination, until we can ensure these protections are a national standard.”

Back to top