FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Crown Act is a bill to establish creating a respectful and open world for natural hair at public schools or colleges and now it’s on Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ desk.

“All around the world, there were black activists really critically thinking about and mobilizing the image of blackness being presented to the world as one of pride and hair is a key signifier of that,” said Adele Okoli, Ph.D.

Okoli, who has a doctorate in African American studies and French from Yale University, says the Crown Act is an essential piece of legislation that is working to end the oppression minorities have faced for centuries when it comes to their natural hair.

“It’s working to end overlapping gender-based and race-based discrimination in the United States, it’s all about making sure that people don’t lose their jobs or lose access to educational opportunities based on their natural appearance of their hair,” Okoli said.

Quintina Arnett the owner of Glitz Beauty Bar and a hairstylist for several years says this bill is long overdue.

“It doesn’t matter how their hair is they should love the state of their hair and they should love who they are and they should love how God made them,” Arnett said.

Arnett and Okoli agree that hair goes deeper than the surface it shapes a form of self-identity.

“I think it’s important that we learn to embrace who we are and learn how to love who we are and love our hair in whatever state that it’s in,” Arnett said.

“Hair is a key signifier of that it’s a way of speaking to your pride and your heritage so we should not be limiting that existential freedom or expressive freedom,” Okoli said.

The Arkansas Future Caucus successfully passed the Crown Act and now it’s up to Governor Sanders to determine if this becomes law.