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Ingham County bans discrimination against hair

Details of traditional hair style from the land of Punt (Eritrea), 3 women watching the Eritrean flag being raised in Volunteer Park, wearing traditional garments, Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington, USA by Wonderlane is marked under CC0 1.0. To view the

Ingham County has become the first county in the state to ban hair-based discrimination. 

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution Tuesday.  

It redefines race in the county’s Equal Opportunity Plan to include traits historically associated with race, like hair texture and protective hairstyles. 

Commissioner Derrell Slaughter says he’s seen hair-based discrimination affect family and friends. 

Being a black person and having my mom an aunts, I’ve heard for years and years stories of having to conform or change their hair because their supervisor didn’t think it was appropriate or up to the company’s standards when we really knew it was about race

The resolution protects all county employees. 

Democratic Representative Sarah Anthony of Lansing has introduced a similar measure into the State Legislature as part of a nationwide campaign.