ACLU-WV staffers Jaidyn Carter and Oceanna Smith present a check at Sen. Eric Tarr's office. 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Advocates presented a check for about $5,500 to Black women-led West Virginia organizations Thursday in front of State Sen. Eric Tarr’s office to publicly demonstrate that funding for the Crown Act is possible. The funds were raised online in about just under 48 hours.

The Crown Act (SB 496) passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week but Tarr then diverted the bill from the Senate floor to his committee, Senate Finance, in a procedural move to kill it for the session. There, the bill was assigned a fiscal note of $5,000 per year to implement.

“This is such needed legislation, so we’ve been puzzled as to why Senator Tarr is blocking it,” said Rev. Jenny Williams, a faith organizer who helped spearhead the fundraiser. “If you want to help and protect people, you make it happen. Five thousand dollars is nothing in the scope of the state budget. We decided to show how easy it is to raise this money when you care about Black and brown people.”

The funds will be equally distributed among Black By God (the West Virginian), WV Black Pride Foundation, Black Voter Impact Initiative, and the Partnership for Furthering Arts and Education.

The Crown Act clarifies in state law that discrimination against natural Black hairstyles and textures is a form of racial discrimination.