HUTTO, Texas - The CROWN Act, which prohibits discrimination based on hairstyle, is one of many new laws that went into effect on Friday,
"I love that we are finally able to be able to just express ourselves and not have to worry about discrimination at work, or whether or not we will be able to get a promotion with our natural hair, or whether or not we will be able to walk at graduation that we have earned," said April Phillips, the founder of Frofessionals. "We don't have to worry about that no more."
Gov. Abbott signed the CROWN Act into law in May, and the law went into effect on Friday, September 1.
- CROWN Act signed into law in Texas by Governor Greg Abbott, in effect Sept. 1
- Texas CROWN Act passes in Senate, headed to Governor Abbott's desk
- Pflugerville City Council passes resolution supporting CROWN Act
- CROWN Act passes Texas House, heads to Senate for vote
- Texas CROWN Act legislation moves forward at Capitol
- Pflugerville community invited to CROWN Act discussion
The law prohibits employers, labor unions and employment agencies from discriminating against an employee based on hair texture or protective hairstyle associated with race.
"Whatever you want to do with your hair is your business," Phillips said. "Whether you want to have a relaxer, I had a relaxer for 10 years and decided to go back natural, and I’m loving it."
Phillips made it her mission to create the first CROWN Act Festival in Hutto as a tribute to natural hair, food and culture.
"I love it, I love the twist the locs, this right here is a two-strand twist, just love it," Phillips said.
"Having the ability of flaunting your hair everywhere you go without having to cover it up with a wig, or be shy or be afraid of who you are as a person, because our natural hair is our natural crown, is like asking me to cover up my God-given crown," said Jonjerry Jeromes, the owner of Chedo J Hair Care.
The CROWN Act stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair.
Jonjerry Jeromes is one of many vendors at the event, catering to natural hair care.
"This was done for them so that they can be who they are, represent themselves, grow up proud of who they are from head to toe," Jeromes said. "So, yes, this paving the way for the future."