MILWAUKEE - The City of Milwaukee is moving to ban discrimination based on a hairstyle. It would make hairstyles a protected class -- and many feel it's a step in the right direction.
When a client steps into Rhoyal Trinity, owner Nakiiya Williams makes them feel right at home.
"I work in the notion that your hair is beautiful no matter what," Williams said.
Williams uses her clients' natural hair to create sisterlocks.
"It’s just the best thing since sliced bread for me and a lot of my clients," Williams said.
At this salon, hair is more than a style or expression. It is a passion for Williams -- who is backing new legislation in Milwaukee.
"The reality is hair has a cultural significance to many of us," Williams said.
On Monday, Jan. 11, Milwaukee city leaders moved to ban discrimination against people having hairstyles associated with racial, ethnic, or cultural identities. It would prevent employers from denying employment based on a hairstyle.
"Whether they were coming in with locs or braids or other kinds of creative hairstyles," said Milwaukee Alderman Ashanti Hamilton.
Milwaukee Alderman Ashanti Hamilton
Hamilton worked on the file with the Equal Rights Commission and said it is an important issue to bring forward.
"There were female leaders across the country that sort of brought this to folks' attention," Hamilton said.
"If I’m performing, if I have the credentials you’re looking for, my hair should be the last thing that you’re worried about," Williams said.
Sonya Borden, in Williams' chair, is a business owner too.
"I focus on what’s in the heart and their character," Borden said.
Borden hopes others will do the same -- and celebrate differences.
"Anything about positivity. If it’s going to bring awareness and enlighten, I’m all for it," Borden said.
Milwaukee's full Common Council will vote on this matter in late January.