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Alpha Phi Alpha Takes a Stand: Relocating Convention in Protest of Florida’s Racist Policies

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.

Today’s 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.

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