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Alpha Phi Alpha Relocates 2025 Convention Out Of Florida Over Governor DeSantis’ Policies

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, which is known as the oldest Black collegiate fraternity, will no longer hold its 2025 convention in Orlando, Florida.

Alpha Phi Alpha General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer III
General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer III

The announcement regarding the relocation was made on July 26th at this year’s convention in Dallas, Texas in light of travel warnings that were issued by the NAACP and other civil rights groups.

The fraternity hosts its annual convention for members to convene and discuss various topics, and this year’s theme was “Strengthening the Brotherhood and Standing for Social Justice.” The goal of the 2023 convention was to bring awareness to “unrelenting attempts at voter disenfranchisement, racial discrimination and the ongoing brutalization and killing of unarmed African Americans by law enforcement.”

“In this environment of manufactured division and attacks on the Black community, Alpha Phi Alpha refuses to direct a projected $4.6 million convention economic impact to a place hostile to the communities we serve,” General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer III expressed to members in an announcement.

In making the decision to relocate the convention, Alpha Phi Alpha cited a recent change to Florida’s social studies curriculum on slavery which the Alpha Phi Alpha stated that the new curriculum “erases Florida’s role in slavery and oppression, blames the victims, and declares that African Americans who endured slavery benefited from the horrific and torturous institution.”

What is considered the most controversial statement in the Florida school curriculum in regards to slavery, directs teachers to include instruction surrounding “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit,” was clarified by Governor Ron Desantis to mean that slaves “developed skills in spite of slavery, not because of slavery.”

Aside from Florida’s school curriculum about slavery, other controversial policies include the Stop WOKE Act, limiting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion discussions in colleges, as well as more strict immigration policies being implemented in Florida.

“The actions taken by Governor DeSantis have created a shadow of fear within communities across the state,” said Lydia Medrano, a League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) vice president. LULAC also issued travel warnings along with the NAACP.

Other organizations that have canceled or relocated events from Florida due to the political climate include Game of Thrones convention Con of Thrones, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Grace Hopper Celebration. An organizer for Con of Thrones told Fox 35 Orlando that her staff felt “incredibly unsafe” when they discovered their events would be hosted in the Sunshine State.

A new location for the 2025 APA convention has not yet been announced.


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