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Professor Catherine Smith Testifies in Support of the CROWN Act of 2020

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Sturm College of Law

CROWN Act is designed to address discrimination on the basis of hair

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catherine smith testifying

On Monday, February 24, University of Denver Sturm College of Law Associate Dean of Institutional Diversity and Inclusiveness, Professor Catherine Smith, testified in support of the CROWN Act of 2020 before the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee. The CROWN Act (“Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act of 2020) is designed to address discrimination on the basis of hair, a particularly pernicious form of race discrimination against African-Americans, especially African-American women and girls. Black men and boys, and people of Jewish, Latinx and Native American descent have experienced similar struggles. The CROWN Act would prohibit this kind of race discrimination.

Professor Smith teaches and writes in the areas of civil rights and employment discrimination. Her testimony focused on explaining why hair discrimination is race discrimination by explaining our country's history of using skin color, nose width and hair texture as a means to control and stigmatize Black people and other historically marginalized groups.

You can listen to her testimony on the Colorado General Assembly website

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