BY FLORIDA COURIER STAFF
At its international convention that started Wednesday, July 26 in Dallas, Texas, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity announced that it’s moving its 2025 convention from Orlando because of Governor Ron DeSantis’ “harmful, racist, and insensitive policies against the Black community.’’
In a statement, Dr. Willis, L. Lonzer III, general president of the organization, announced the relocation of the fraternity’s 97th general convention and 117th anniversary convention in Dallas. The statement said the decision amplifies the fraternity’s convention theme, “Strengthening the Brotherhood and Standing for Social Justice.”
“Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has an unmatched legacy of social justice, advocacy, and leadership for the Black community,” Lonzer said. “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.”
He noted, “Although we are moving our convention from Florida, Alpha Phi Alpha will continue to support the strong advocacy of Alpha Brothers and other advocates fighting against the continued assault on our communities in Florida by Governor Ron DeSantis.”
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity conventions generate approximately $4.6 million in economic impact, the statement said.
The Florida Board of Education has approved a controversial new K-12 curriculum for African American history, which erases Florida’s role in slavery and oppression, blames the victims, and declares that African Americans who endured slavery benefitted from the horrific and torturous institution, the statement related.
“The fraternity joins a broad coalition of organizations protesting Florida’s barrage of harmful and discriminatory policies on protests, voting rights, education, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. In May, the NAACP issued a travel advisory, calling Florida ‘openly hostile” to African Americans,’ the statement continued.
Alpha Phi Alpha is the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American men. It was founded on Dec. 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland Alpha men include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Justice Thurgood Marshall, actor Paul Robeson, civil rights leader and politician and Professor Cornel West.
The fraternity has more than 720 college and alumni chapters and general-organization members, serves communities in the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean.