Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated fervently opposes legislative efforts in Florida and other states to limit academic freedom and undermine historical accuracy in education.
Journalistic endeavors such as the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project and academic concepts like Critical Race Theory have launched a new era of scholarship that questions how governmental policies and cultural norms of America’s past have informed present-day wealth and health disparities.
Instead of engaging in rigorous academic debates of these ideas, propagandists have launched insidious campaigns to wipe out nearly all academic inquiry into racism and sexism in school districts, colleges, and universities.
The Florida House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 999, legislation that expressly prohibits any programs or campus activities that advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and bans “the use of pedagogical methodology associated with Critical Theory, including, but not limited to, Critical Race Theory, Critical Race Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, Radical Feminist Theory, Radical Gender Theory, Queer Theory, Critical Social Justice or Intersectionality.”
Critics of the bill and its companion, Senate Bill 266, point out that the bill’s vague language could lead to the elimination of state funding for Florida’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and threaten the existence of historically Black organizations such as Delta Sigma Theta and other members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council on Florida’s university campuses.
Delta Sigma Theta’s more than 1,000 chapters will engage in advocacy efforts to ensure a complete picture of American history – in all its complexity and contradictions – is presented in our K-12 schools, libraries, and universities.
We are also mobilized to fight to protect the interests of Black academics, students, and organizations on campuses in states that have targeted them for censorship and exclusion.
No great society has ever flourished by shutting down academic inquiry and distorting history. James Baldwin once said, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’
America must face its history to build a future that lives up to its ideals and promises.