Natural Hair-Discrimination A Student-Led Advocacy Initiative to Address a Serious Public Health Issue

Known as the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act, legislation to prohibit discrimination based on natural hairstyles such as locs and braids in workplaces, schools, and other similar settings, has been introduced in the Massachusetts state legislature. If enacted into law, the CROWN act will protect the dignity and well-being of Black children, adolescents, and adults. In this presentation, public health students helping to lead a campaign in support of the CROWN Act in Massachusetts will discuss components of the advocacy strategy, including written and verbal testimony for committee hearings and a policy brief.

Kenny Nguyen

Current MPH Student

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Kenny Nguyen is a current MPH student who is interested in a future career in research and epidemiology. He is interested in child and adolescent health, early childhood development, and community level interventions that can improve children’s health over the life course. Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I have lived in Boston for just over 4 years. I received my undergraduate degree in Public Health from Temple University and I am currently a master’s candidate at Boston University School of Public Health studying Health Policy & Law and Mental Health and Substance Use. Upon graduating from BU, I am hoping to work in immigrant law and reform.

Meera Ruparelia

Master’s candidate

Boston University School of Public Health

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I have lived in Boston for just over 4 years. I received my undergraduate degree in Public Health from Temple University and I am currently a master’s candidate at Boston University School of Public Health studying Health Policy & Law and Mental Health and Substance Use. Upon graduating from BU, I am hoping to work in immigrant law and reform.

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