Crown Day Highlights


Black Hair Independence Day

By Journeyman Hairstylist’s and Textured Hair Educator’s Tonya Cryer and Pinky Cunningham

CROWN stands for:

C creating a

R respectable and

O open

W world for

N natural hair

Annual Crown Act Day was established In Celebration and Commemoration of the passing of the bill which became law in California in 2019 through the efforts of Senator Holly Mitchell and The Crown Coalition.

This bill protects a specific demographic in the workplace from discrimination against cultural hairstyles such as locs, twists, braids, afros and other protective styles.

The Crown Coalition & The Joy Collective have done extensive research on how the impact of hair discrimination affects our demographic of people.

The Crown Coalition along with Linked N has created educational videos around training staff how to create more Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace.

Pinky and I understood the mission of the Crown Act and came up with the concept of creating something fun for the members to engage in which would increase camaraderie within the membership. After sharing the idea with President Julie Socash and DEI Board member Geneva Morgan, the Hair Competition was born.

During my research I discovered that my friend, comedianne, Kym Whitley, was previously involved in the Crown Act movement so I asked her to put me in contact with The House Of Joy. She  connected me to Jeanine Canales of Unilever, who is all things Dove.

After meeting with Jeanine and The House of Joy over Zoom, many ideas flowed. To make sure things were done just right, Julie enlisted Dan Evans from Ingledod to assist with the process, and that he did!

Dan jumped in feet 1st, and was all in from concept to finish. We are so grateful to and for him.  Several union members were asked to participate as Ambassador’s  because of their contribution to the natural hair culture. Those chosen were: Stacey Morris, Tinisha Meeks, Carla Farmer and Quan Pierce who confirmed the final winners in each category. After many more meetings and collaborations, Kimberly Carlson, 706 Hairstylist who runs social media for the union, taught me some new tricks that I used in some of my media posts.

The Annual Crown Day Artistry Showdown was presented by Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Guild  IATSE Local 706 and the DEI Board
To see winners and their entries, click here.

This amazing event was held virtually and the voting was done through YouTube, judged by the number of likes from public voters.

The competition was inclusive to hairstylists and barbers of the locals. Makeup artists were encouraged to assist a stylist in creating the final camera ready look.

The incentive was a $500 cash prize donated by The House of Joy along with many amazing hair product suppliers such as Tokyo Nature Lab, Janet Hair Collection, Pacific Instruments and Daily Dose, along with our MUAHS Awards gifting suite sponsors, Dove, Schwarzkopf Professional, Farouk Systems, Chi/ BioSilk Haircare, Urban Decay Cosmetics, Black Opal Beauty, Hollywood Fashion Secrets, Giovanni Cosmetics, Tablette Palette, Skinshine Beauty, Beauty Blender, LeMieux, Ardell Beauty, Fusion PKG beauty Company, Clubman Pinaud, Woody’s For Men and Punky Hair Colour.

The event was introduced at the MUAHS gifting suite which was held at Beauty Blender June 3 & 4th 2023.

The participants had approximately 21 days to complete and submit their entry.

The 4 categories were:

Locs and Twists, Braids, Barbering and Fantasy.

There were (12) contestants

(9) from local 706

(3) from local 798

The participants by Category were:


Antoinette Black Local 798 (image #2)

Shelia Holden Local 706 (image #3)

Amber  Hamilton Local 706 (image #4)

LaMarr Randal Sr.  Local 706 (Image #5)

Autumn Sanders Local 706 (image #6)



Ursula Simpson Local 706 (image #7)

Filisha Jones Local 706 (image #8)

Autumn Sanders Local 706 (image #9)

Yunea Cruz Local 706 (image # 10)

Antoinette  Black 798 (image #24)



Hubert Guy Local 798 ( image #11)

LaMarr Randal Sr. Local 706 (image #12)


Locs & Twists:

Jennifer Lord Local 798 ( image #13)

Kamaura Eley Local 706 (image #14)

Nae Beamon Local 706 (image #16)

Autumn Sanders Local 706 (image #17)

Yunea Cruz Local 706 (image #18)

The winners were announced on July 3rd, 2023 National Crown Act Day


Here are the winners in each category:


Fantasy: LaMarr Randal Sr. (Image #19)

Barbering: LaMarr Randal Sr. (image #20)

Braids: Ursula Simpson (image #21)

Locs & Twists: Jennifer Lord (image #22)

This event was a great success and created the camaraderie that we envisioned for the membership.

In preparation for the commemoration, BET presented a commercial on behalf of the National Crown Act, which featured 2 of our favorite 706 Hairstylist’s, Carla Farmer and Shirlena Allen.

Camille Friend received a Crown Award at the Essence Fest in recognition for her contribution to our industry.

Congratulations and Thank You to all the Winners & Participants.

For those who didn’t get a chance to participate this year, you will have another opportunity next year since NationalCrown Act Day is an annual celebration.

We can’t wait to see your creations for the next Crown Day Artistry Showdown in 2024. Put your A game on and get ready.


Sisters in Solidarity,

Tonya Cryer and Pinky Cunningham