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'I feel seen, and I feel heard now,' Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs CROWN Act into law

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Posted at 8:34 PM, Jun 15, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — For most of her life, Najeema Iman has been team natural hair.

“It isn’t always perfect, but it’s really told the story of my life,” she said.

While she feels most confident wearing her hair natural, Iman says it has come with some challenges.

“I’ve been discriminated myself when applying for positions,” Iman said. “Like I sound one way on the phone, but I look a different way when I come in for an interview. I’ve been in situations where I’ve interviewed great on the phone, and when I come in and they see me and my hair, they change."

But now, future interviews for Iman may be different. On Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the CROWN Act into law in Lansing.

“Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, that’s what CROWN stands for, expands Civil Rights protections by banning discrimination against natural hair,” Whitmer said.

Advocates have been pushing for the CROWN Act to past since 2019. State Sen. Sarah Anthony spearheaded the initiative.

“Things that are unique to the Black experience needed to make it to the governor's desk, and that’s why we’re here today,” Anthony said.

And while some say it took way too long for the CROWN Act to past, others like Iman are happy it finally happened, and she has a message for lawmakers who pushed for it to pass.

“Thank you! Because I feel seen, and I feel heard now,” She said.