Gov. Katie Hobbs signs executive order banning hair discrimination

Mar 17, 2023, 6:00 PM

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed an executive order on Friday banning racial discrimination based on hair texture or style.

The governor announced the ceremonial signing at the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower to hopefully set an example to build a better Arizona.

“(Everyone) will be able to wear their natural hair without fear of discrimination,” Hobbs told reporters on Friday. “More importantly is the message this sends to all Black women, men and children. You deserve to feel comfortable wearing your natural hair in school and in the workplace without being seen as unprofessional or experiencing other negative consequences.

“… This executive order prohibiting hair discrimination based on hair texture and style in Arizona workplaces directs the Department of Administration to establish procedures by June 1 of this year.”

Hobbs brought up various statistics that Black Americans face in daily life, part of the reasoning that led to the executive order.

She mentioned that 80% of Black women will change their natural hair to meet social norms, Black women are one-and-a-half times more likely to be sent home because of hair and 50% of Black women experience hair discrimination before the age of five.

Officials from various Phoenix and Arizona-based Black advocacy groups joined Hobbs to announce the historic signing, including representatives from the African American Museum of Southern Arizona, Black Mother’s Forum and the Phoenix chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Gov. Katie Hobbs signs executive order banning hair discrimination