Florida Bill Attacks DEI Programs, Puts Black Fraternities and Sororities At Risk

Florida Bill Attacks DEI Programs, Puts Black Fraternities and Sororities At Risk

A bill in Florida has its eyes set on Black fraternities and sororities.

The Hill reports that HB 999 would ban any program promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at the college level throughout the state. Language in the bill claims colleges will lose financial support for “any program or campus activities that espouse diversity, equity, or inclusion or Critical Race Theory rhetoric.”

The bill was passed by the Florida House earlier this week and the state Senate debated the proposed legislation on Wednesday.

Organizations such as Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Omega Psi Phi are concerned that chapters may disappear due to this bill. State representatives who are Greek letter members, like Sen. Shevrin Jones (D-FL.), who called the bill “vague” on Instagram Live.

“HBCUs or other institutions period who have Black fraternities and sororities on their campuses can practically say we will no longer be supporting you on our campuses based off of this law,” she said. 

As news circulated about the bill, it went viral on Twitter with a list of everything that could be affected.

The legislation was introduced Rep. Alex Andrade (R-FL) who follows the conservative agenda led by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, that limits discussions on race, gender identity and sexuality in schools.

However, some leaders say Andrade didn’t think this through.

Rep. Yvonne Hinson (D-FL) claims cutting funding for these “activities” will affect the faculty as well, meaning there is another problem to face. “Frankly faculty that is paid by the university may not be able to be faculty advisers to these groups. They won’t be,” Hinson said, according to WPTV. “Even if they will, this is going to intimidate them and create a chilling effect.”

Andrade attempted to ease the concerns of Hinson, a Greek letter organization member, that Black fraternities and sororities won’t be affected, saying “those student groups can continue to operate how they see fit currently” and will be subjected only to the policies and procedures that are content “neutral.” Jones said members should watch their backs.