TMCF Supports Alpha Phi Alpha’s Decision to Pull Its Convention from Florida


WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In his dissent of the Regents of Southern California v. Bakke case (1978), Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote, “The position of the Negro today in America is the tragic but inevitable consequence of centuries of unequal treatment. Measured by any benchmark of comfort or achievement, meaningful equality remains a distant dream for the Negro.”

That was 45 years ago. It still rings true today, unfortunately. 

Thurgood Marshall would be proud of his fraternity brothers, Alpha Phi Alpha.


In response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent harmful, racist, and insensitive policies against the Black community, the oldest intercollegiate Black fraternity in the United States recently announced it is relocating its 2025 national conference from Orlando after the Florida Department of Education approved controversial new guidelines on African American history.

An economic impact that’s projected to be between $4.6 million and $10 million in tourism for the region. The decision to cancel the convention should spark discussions about the underlying message behind the move.

The spirit of Justice Marshall lives through the DNA of Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which stands on the front lines of continuing the fight of making his vision of access, equity, and inclusion a reality. 

This quote from Justice Marshall is one primary reason why TMCF was founded in 1987 by Dr. N. Joyce Payne “Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.” That’s what Alpha Phi Alpha did as an organization, and it aligns with Justice Marshall’s legacy.

TMCF strives for this by providing a ladder to the middle class because it plays an essential role in promoting American prosperity—academically, socially, and economically through scholarships, which ease the financial burden for those who attend schools, targeted programming, and internships.

Alpha Phi Alpha was one of many organizations to make a significant statement. Earlier this month, the National Society of Black Engineers announced its 2024 convention would no longer be held in Orlando next spring after participants voiced their concerns about the state’s political climate and safety. This response is one step in bringing awareness to uncomfortable policies enacted by state leaders aimed at marginalizing Black people and minimalizing the impact of history.

TMCF promotes diversity and inclusion by championing HBCUs and their students in ways that position them as essential to the corporate America talent pipeline, which is more important than ever. Diverse viewpoints make companies more vital and more flexible.

Systemic inequalities and the injustices they create are still happening. TMCF has been committed to confronting the long history of social and economic inequities, so it has remained steadfast in its work to widen the pathways to upward mobility, close the socioeconomic gaps, and advance racial equity. 

Alpha Phi Alpha’s decision was significant and necessary because, in the words of Justice Marshall, “If we are ever to become a fully integrated society, one in which the color of a person’s skin will not determine the opportunities available to him or her, we must be willing to take steps to open those doors.”

That means continuing the fight for equality and inclusion in the spirit of Justice Marshall and saluting Alpha Phi Alpha’s recent decision to pull its convention out of Florida.

CONTACT: Rob Knox Thurgood Marshall College Fund 6108001044 [email protected] 

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