Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Moves 2025 Convention From Orlando, FL due to Governor DeSantis’ Racist Policies Against The Black Community

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General President Dr. Willis, L. Lonzer, III announced the relocation of the Fraternity’s 99th General Convention and 119th Anniversary Convention from Orlando, Florida, scheduled to take place in 2025, due to Governor Ron DeSantis’ harmful, racist, and insensitive policies against the Black community.

The announcement, on the first day of its 97th General Convention and 117th Anniversary Convention in Dallas, Texas, 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,” said General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III. “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. 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.

Earlier this week, the Florida Board of Education 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 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.

In Dallas this week, General President Lonzer and Fraternity leadership are dedicating much of its current convention to highlight the continued fight needed for social justice on behalf of African Americans and other marginalized communities. On Monday, Fraternity leadership joined Dallas-Ft. Worth area Alpha Phi Alpha Chapters as well as other Divine 9 Dallas Chapters in a protest march that culminated with a rally of hundreds at City Hall.

The newly appointed President & CEO of The Rainbow Push Coalition, Alpha Brother, Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, also helped lead the march and delivered rousing remarks at the rally.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Judge Rules That a Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Againts the state of Florida by Florida A&M University Students May Proceed

In September 2022, six students at historically Black Florida A&M University in Tallahassee filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the state of Florida. A federal judge recently ruled that the litigation can move forward. The suit claims that the state is discriminating against African Americans because Florida A&M receives less funding per student than the University of Florida.

The plaintiffs call for the state to commit to equity in its support of historically Black colleges and universities. They seek injunctive relief under various laws, including Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in federally funded programs.

According to the complaint, the University of Florida receives a larger state appropriation per student than FAMU – over 33 years, from 1987 to 2020, that shortfall amounted to approximately $1.3 billion. Moreover, the complaint alleges that the state supports programming and courses of study at Florida State University, a traditionally White university also located in Tallahassee, that unnecessarily duplicates programming at FAMU, which steers prospective students toward Florida State.

Founded more than 130 years ago, Florida A&M University is “still playing catch-up in the state of Florida, which we feel has acted with an astonishing lack of good faith, despite decades of directives from the federal government that all students in the state receive equal educational opportunities,” said Josh Dubin, the attorney representing the plaintiffs. “This deliberate indifference toward HBCUs is not unique to Florida, but FAMU is where we’re joining the fight to ensure the education is fair for everyone.”

Sunday, May 21, 2023

NAACP Issues Travel Advisory in Florida

The NAACP Board of Directors issued a formal travel advisory for the state of Florida. The travel advisory comes in direct response to Governor Ron DeSantis' aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.

The formal travel notice states, "Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color."

"Let me be clear - failing to teach an accurate representation of the horrors and inequalities that Black Americans have faced and continue to face is a disservice to students and a dereliction of duty to all," said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson. "Under the leadership of Governor Desantis, the state of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon. He should know that democracy will prevail because its defenders are prepared to stand up and fight. We're not backing down, and we encourage our allies to join us in the battle for the soul of our nation."

The travel advisory was initially proposed to the Board of Directors by NAACP's Florida State Conference. NAACP's collective consideration of this advisory is a result from unrelenting attacks on fundamental freedoms from the Governor and his legislative body.

"Once again, hate-inspired state leaders have chosen to put politics over people. Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida have engaged in a blatant war against principles of diversity and inclusion and rejected our shared identities to appeal to a dangerous, extremist minority," said Chair of the NAACP Board of Directors, Leon Russell. "We will not not allow our rights and history to be held hostage for political grandstanding. The NAACP proudly fights against the malicious attacks in Florida, against Black Americans. I encourage my fellow Floridians to join in this fight to protect ourselves and our democracy."

Following Gov. DeSantis' so-called leadership in driving the state to reject students' access to AP African American studies course in March, the NAACP distributed 10,000 books to 25 predominantly Black communities across the state in collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers's Reading Opens the World program. The majority of the books donated were titles banned under the state's increasingly restrictive laws. The NAACP continues to encourage local branches and youth councils to start community libraries to ensure access to representative literature.

The NAACP encourages Florida residents to join this effort to defeat the regressive policies of this Governor and this state legislature. Interested residents and supporters can visit for additional information and updates.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Florida chapter of NAACP calls for travel advisory due to concerns about 'anti-Black legislation'

The state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is calling on national leaders to impose a travel advisory for Black Americans.

The organization wants to tell Black Americans not to enter Florida, citing concerns over what it calls the governor's "anti-Black legislation."

Saturday, February 04, 2023


February is Black History Month. Today, February 1st, the first day of the month long observance, the People’s Organization For Progress (POP) is calling for a “Ban On Black History Protest,” Saturday, February 25, 2023, 12 noon, at the Lincoln Statue, 12 Springfield Avenue, in Newark, New Jersey.

“The purpose of this protest is to demonstrate our opposition to attempts in Florida, Virginia, and other states, municipalities, and school districts across the United States to ban and censure the study of black history in our educational institutions and society,” stated Lawrence Hamm, Chairman, People’s Organization for Progress.

“As we begin Black History Month, we must confront the fact that today there are racist and fascist forces in our country who are trying to change the way black history is taught, eliminate it from school curriculum, or prohibit its introduction,” Hamm said.

“Here we are in the twenty-first century, and legislation, executive orders, and policies are introduced and laws are passed that would criminalize the teaching of black history. Books about black historical figures and events written by black and white authors are being banned,” he stated.

“The attempts to revise and eliminate black history must stop and we must stand up to those who are attempting to carry them out,” Hamm said.

“It is outrageous that the The College Board would bow to the demands of Governor Ron DeSantis and strip down it’s A.P. curriculum for African American studies. Attempts to impose a racist white supremacist revisionist history of black people upon us must be resisted,” Hamm said.

“American history that does not reflect the breadth, depth, and truth of the Black historical experience is mythology. Black history should be taught in all of our schools and educational institutions,” he said.

For more information please call People’s Organization For Progress (POP) at (973)801-0001.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

WATCH: Mary McLeod Bethune Statue Unveiled in National Statuary Hall

It was a historic moment Wednesday, as marble statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune,the founder of Bethune-Cookman University and champion of civil and women’s rights was unveiled in Statuary Hall in our nation's Capitol.

Watch the entire ceremony below:

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Andrew Gillum withdraws concession as Florida recount begins

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) withdrew his concession to Republican candidate Ron DeSantis in the Florida gubernatorial race on Saturday as a recount in the state begins.

“I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote," Gillum said at a press conference.

Watch his full statement below:

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Andrew Gillum campaign issues statement on possibility of a recount

Officials with the Andrew Gillum for Governor campaign have released a statement regarding the results of the Florida governor's race and his decision to concede to opponent Ron DeSantis.

Gillum for Governor communications director Johanna Cervone made the following statement:

"On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count. Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported. Our campaign, along with our attorney Barry Richard, is monitoring the situation closely and is ready for any outcome, including a state-mandated recount. Mayor Gillum started his campaign for the people, and we are committed to ensuring every single vote in Florida is counted."

Monday, October 01, 2018

Former President Barack Obama endorses Andrew Gillum for Florida governor

Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Andrew Gillum to be the next governor of Florida. Gillum has made health care a central plank in his platform and Obama made note of it when he threw his support behind the Democratic nominee Monday morning.

“Andrew believes that health care is a right, not a privilege and he will make expanding Medicaid a priority on day one as governor,” said Obama, whose signature achievement as president was the Affordable Care Act.

“Andrew will expand access to affordable health care, protect Floridians with pre-existing conditions, invest in education, protect the environment and build an economy that works for all,” continued Obama, in a prepared statement.

The endorsement puts the national Democrats' three biggest hitters in the Tallahassee mayor's corner. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigned with Gillum during the primary. And former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hit the campaign trail with the mayor later this month as he tries to be the first Democrat in 20 years to win a Florida governor's race.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Florida to replace Confederate statue in US Capitol with statue of black woman

Florida could soon help diversify the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall, by replacing a Confederate general's likeness with the hall's first statue honoring an African-American woman.

The state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to install a statue of educator Mary McLeod Bethune in the spot where a statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith still stands.

"It's a way of recognizing our history, but also our diversity. It shows Florida in our best light," said the bill's sponsor, Democratic Sen. Perry Thurston. "It's a major message. It shows not only Florida, but the nation that we are coming together and trying to recognize all of our history."

Bethune founded Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in 1904, which eventually became Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach.

Two years ago the state Legislature voted to remove Smith's statue from the U.S. Capitol over the objection of some members who said that was an effort to erase Southern history.

Smith is famously remembered as the last Confederate officer to surrender a significant force at the end of the Civil War, nearly two months after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia and formally ended the war on April 9, 1865.

The law requiring the removal of the Smith statue set up a process to replace it.

An independent committee reviewed 130 recommendations from Floridians and presented the Legislature with three choices: Bethune; Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who wrote "The Everglades: River of Grass" and is credited with helping create that national park preserving 1.5 million acres (607,000 hectares) of wetlands in southern Florida; and George Washington Jenkins, who started the Publix supermarket chain.

Bethune was the committee's only unanimous choice.


Monday, December 04, 2017

Former Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown sentenced to 5 years for fraud

Former U.S. Representative Corrine Brown of Florida was sentenced on Monday to five years in prison for her role in helping raise more than $800,000 for a bogus charity that was used as a slush fund, federal court officials said.

Brown, 71, was convicted in May on 18 counts of participating in a conspiracy involving a fraudulent education charity, concealing material facts required on financial disclosure forms and filing false tax returns.

Brown, a Democrat from Jacksonville who served 24 years in Congress, lost her re-election bid last year after being indicted.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan said he considered Brown's years of public service in deciding her punishment. But he determined that "probation for a member of Congress convicted of 18 counts involving mail, wire, and tax fraud would not be sufficient," according to a transcript of his comments.

Brown maintains her innocence and will appeal, her lawyer, James Smith, told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Jacksonville on Monday. The former congresswoman declined to comment.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Rev. Jesse Jackson visits Fla., discusses voter suppression

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says there was no evidence of voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election but says President Trump's Commission on Election Integrity should look at the suppression of minority voters in certain states, including Florida.

The civil rights activist visited St. John Baptist Church in Orlando Sunday to encourage voter participation and to talk about voter suppression.

In a call with The Associated Press, Jackson said between 1.3 and 1.7 million voters don't have the right to vote in Florida because they have a felony conviction although they are no longer incarcerated.

Jackson says his Rainbow PUSH Coalition has set up its own commission of scholars and activists to look into such voter suppression. The group is also focusing on voter registration in closely watched elections in Virginia and New Jersey. And in Florida, the group is focused on restoration of voting rights for felons.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown convicted of federal fraud charges

On Thursday, a federal jury in Jacksonville convicted Corrine Brown, a former 12-term Florida congresswoman on 18 of 22 corruption counts ranging from mail fraud to filing a false federal tax return.

Brown and Ronnie Simmons, her chief of staff who previously pleaded guilty in the case, were named last year in a 24-count federal indictment relating to a scheme led by Brown in which she used her official post as a member of Congress to help solicit $800,000 in contributions for a sham education charity, One Door for Education.

She will be sentenced later this summer.


Friday, April 07, 2017

Lawmakers and Advocates Rally to Support Mary Bethune Statue in Washington D.C.

FLORIDA-Several current and former state lawmakers, as well as members of the nation's oldest Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha gathered at the state capitol today, calling on the legislature to honor the late educator and civil-rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

Bethune would replace a confederate general as one of Florida's representatives in a set of statues at the U.S. Capitol, under one proposal filed in the Senate.

The legislature voted last year to replace General Edmund Kirby Smith's statue amid a backlash against confederate symbols, following the 2015 shooting deaths of nine African-American worshippers.

State Senator Perry Thurston says the reasons to choose Bethune are many, adding it would be a good symbolic gesture.

Last June, Bethune, who founded what is now known as Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach appeared to be the favorite to replace Smith, getting the votes of all of the members of the "Great Floridians Committee".


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Prosecutor In Trayvon Martin/ Cases Loses Primary

Controversial Florida state attorney Angela Corey lost her primary bid to fellow Republican Melissa Nelson, Tuesday night. Nelson garnered 64% of the vote compared to Corey's 26%

Corey is known to many as the prosecutor who tried to prosecute Zimmerman for the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin and sought a 60-year prison sentence for Marissa Alexander after she fired a shot in the direction of her abusive husband.

Each case generated international attention, with many saying Corey overcharged or sought excessive sentences.

And the criticism came from across the political spectrum, with top conservatives criticizing her for her unsuccessful prosecution of Zimmerman, civil rights and women’s rights activists attacking her for Alexander and juvenile rights activists criticizing Corey for her actions with Fernandez and blasting her propensity to charge juveniles in adult court.


After 12 terms in Congress, Corrine Brown defeated in primary

Longtime U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown has lost her re-election bid in a radically redrawn 5th Congressional District.

Al Lawson, a former state senator from Tallahassee, won 48 percent of the vote to defeat Brown, who drew 39 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary for a district that now stretches from Downtown Jacksonville west along the Florida-Georgia border to Leon County.

Brown said she was proud that she had severed her constituents well during her 24 years in Congress, and 10 years before that in the Florida House of Representatives.

"It's been an honor serving the people, and they're going to have a new representative," Brown said. "I don't feel bad tonight because I know I've done the best I could."

Not only did Brown run in a district drawn to cover thousands of voters she had never represented, but she was indicted in July on 22 federal charges that include conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and violation of tax laws.

Brown and her chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, are accused of using an unregistered charity to raise $800,000 that prosecutors said they used as a personal "slush fund."

Brown's trial on the federal corruption charges was delayed until at least November after a third set of attorneys withdrew from the case last week.

Immediately after her concession speech, Brown began dancing with her bodyguard to, "My Girl." Her supporters joined in and continued to applaud her -- the end of an era in Jacksonville and seemingly a nod to her accomplishments.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why Florida's Stand Your Ground laws make it a great place for punks to live. (ad campaign)

Hi all, this is George Cook of Recently there has been a spate of Stand Your Ground cases in Florida that have gained national attention. The most recent being the tragic Michael Dunn murder case. I decided to investigate why all these cases seem to take place in the Sunshine State. I reached out to the best investigative team I could find. That's right, Bill O'Rielly's mythical investigative team. But they do exist. I have a picture below to prove it.


This crack team of investigators hasn't really uncovered a reason for all of the shootings yet. But they have uncovered a draft of a planned tourism ad campaign. I have decided to share the startling script for a commercial planned for the ad campaign with you.

Why Florida's Stand Your Ground laws make it a great place for punks to live.

Older distinguished looked white gentleman in Hawaiian shirt facing camera: ( George Zimmerman not available as he has been arrested again on domestic abuse charges )

Spokesman: Having trouble planning your next vacation?

Spokesman: Well let me ask you six questions.

Spokesman: Are you a gun owner? Do you like shooting defenseless people? Are you a punk who is scared of his own shadow? Is the only thing that you can beat is your meat? Speaking of meat, do you have a little dick? Do you like to start trouble even though you are incapable of defending yourself?

Spokesman: If the answer to all of those questions is yes then Florida is for you. With our Stand Your Ground laws you can start as much shit as you want, kill the person that you started the altercation with, and be let off by one of our well meaning but obviously confused juries.

Spokesman: No really, that's how it works. We prefer that you shoot the blacks but we know at times that others will have to be shot in the name of your weakened manhood ( i.e. your little dick ). Also please make sure to kill your innocent victim as this makes things easier during your trial. Survivors equals jail time. And don't worry if you don't own a gun with our liberal gun laws as long as you can fog up a mirror and promise to take any meds you are on you can own the firearm of your dreams.

Spokesman hold up his arms

Spokesman: So what are you waiting for? Get your punk ass on down here to Florida. The shooting is plentiful and the laws suck. Just call 1-888-kil-them for more information and affordable travel plans. Again call 1-888-kil-them. We'll be waiting for you.

Spokesman: Oh and one last thing. We apologize but shooting people at Disney World is prohibited as the happiest place on Earth has some issues with that sort of thing.


I was shocked. No really how could they not get George Zimmerman for this ad campaign? But anyway this is all we have dug up for now but as the crack investigative team uncovers more I will report it to you.

George Cook