State of Affairs Examines Hair Discrimination and Legislation in NJ

Ginger Gold Schnitzer

Steve Adubato is joined by Ginger Gold Schnitzer, Executive Director, Guarini Institute for Government & Leadership, Saint Peter’s University, to discuss initiatives that combat the blatant discrimination in education and the workforce today, and the importance of mentorship programs.

Hair discrimination has become a serious issue in New Jersey. Recently a young wrestler was forced to cut his dreadlocks off during a wrestling match in Buena, NJ.

Over the past year, Schnitzer says there’s been a strong effort in Trenton to tackle hair discrimination beginning with legislation like the CROWN Act. Governor Murphy signed the “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act” (CROWN Act), which bans discrimination based on hairstyles associated with race, into law on December 19th, 2019.

In October, Saint Peter’s University held a forum called ‘The Politics of Hair: Can public policy end hair discrimination?’ in collaboration with the CROWN Act. Dove, the personal care brand, cosponsored the event and pushed for legislation similar to the CROWN Act in all fifty states.

Finally, Schnitzer discusses the Fox Scholars Program, a robust mentoring program that pairs students with mentors in government, advocacy, lobbying, and other areas to help them establish strong career networks.

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