Gwinnett Area State Legislators Commend Local Passage of CROWN Act
ATLANTA – State Representatives Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville), Jasmine Clark (D-Lilburn), Dewey McClain (D-Lawrenceville), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), Karen Bennett (D-Stone Mountain), Dar’shun Kendrick (D-Lithonia), Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta) and State Senator Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson) commend the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners (BOC) on the local passage of the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act. These legislators will also hold a virtual press conference to discuss the CROWN Act on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 1 p.m. in conference room C at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville (75 Langley Drive).
“This is a tremendous step in providing equity in the workplace, not only for black women but for every ‘Gwinnettian,’” said Rep. Kendrick. “It’s time to stop hiding behind professionalism to support who people are and their ethnicity.”
“Gwinnett County BOC is to be commended for the recent passing of the county’s CROWN Act,” said Rep. Bennett. “This symbolizes progress evidenced by appreciation for diversity inclusion in and by county leadership. The entire state should follow in this historic stance.”
“It is time that Gwinnett County takes charge in leading the state in expanding nondiscrimination employment policies, which includes the way people wear their hair and how they wear it,” said Rep. McClain.
“Gwinnett County is the most diverse county in the state of Georgia, and as such, we must ensure inclusion and acceptance of our diversity,” said Rep. McLeod. “Our diversity is to be celebrated.”
“It’s such an honor to watch the evolution of our county as we become more inclusive in important and tangible areas, such as how we wear our hair,” said Rep. Hutchinson. “I am grateful to the current administration which had the forethought and tenacity to see this through.”
“As a Black woman that wears natural hair, I am so excited to hear that Gwinnett is providing protection from discrimination based on hair styles,” said Rep. Clark. “This is an excellent step forward, and I hope to see these protections extended to the entire state.”
“The history of our nation is riddled with laws and societal norms that equated ‘blackness’ and its associated physical traits, including dark skin and kinky and curly hair, to a badge of inferiority,” said Rep. Schofield. “Further, these laws and prejudices subjected African American individuals to separate and unequal treatment in the workplace, businesses, schools and housing. Natural hair remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences, especially for African American individuals. The CROWN Act bridges a gap to informing, accepting and embracing our beauty and culture. Thank you Gwinnett County for acknowledging and accepting diversity.”
“I want to thank the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners for applying the CROWN Act to county employees,” said Sen. Merritt. “This is a wonderful step towards banning race-based hair discrimination and protecting people of color in workplaces.”
The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Merit System Rules and Regulations now includes a version of the CROWN Act as an anti-discrimination ordinance. The local CROWN Act prohibits the Gwinnett County government from discriminating against its employees based on cultural hair textures and hairstyles. This local CROWN Act seeks to protect Black women who live and work in Gwinnett County. For more information on the CROWN Act movement, please click here.
Representative Karen Bennett represents the citizens of Districts 94, which includes portions of DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 and currently serves on the Code Revision, Economic Development & Tourism, Health & Human Services and Regulated Industries committees.
Representative Jasmine Clark represents the citizens of District 108, which includes portions of Gwinnett County. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 and currently serves on the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight, Higher Education, Banks & Banking and Interstate Cooperation committees.
Representative Shelly Hutchinson represents the citizens of District 107, which includes portions of Gwinnett County. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 and currently serves on the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight, Health & Human Services, Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications and Juvenile Justice committees.
Representative Dar’shun Kendrick represents the citizens of District 93, which includes portions of DeKalb and Gwinnett counties. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and currently serves on the Interstate Cooperation, Judiciary Non-Civil, Juvenile Justice and Small Business Development committees.
Representative Dewey McClain represents the citizens of District 100, which includes portions of Gwinnett County. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2013 and currently serves on the Industry and Labor, Interstate Cooperation, Motor Vehicles and State Planning & Community Affairs committees.
Representative Donna McLeod represents the citizens of District 105, which includes portions of Gwinnett County. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 and currently serves on the Code Revision, Human Relations & Aging, Interstate Cooperation and Science and Technology committees.
Representative Kim Schofield represents the citizens of District 60, which includes portions of Clayton and Fulton counties. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2017 and currently serves on the Health & Human Services, Interstate Cooperation, Information and Audits and Small Business Development committees.
Sen. Nikki Merritt represents the 9th Senate District which includes portions of Gwinnett County. She was first elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2020 and currently serves as a member on Government Oversight, Insurance and Labor, Natural Resources and the Environment and Special Judiciary committees. She may be reached at (404) 463-2260 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org