FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2023 — Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Incorporated was created with a foundation based on diversity – not only in race but in religion, traditions and heritage, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, and even political ideology. Our sisters embrace these ideals of multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion, and we use our voices, as sisters, to educate our campuses and communities on the belief that there is inherent value in discovering, understanding, and appreciating all the ways in which people are different from each other.
On February 21, 2023, Florida House Bill 999 was filed, titled, “Public Postsecondary Educational Institutions.” This bill, currently pending, seeks to ban organizations and programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in public colleges and universities in Florida.
“A Florida College System institution, state university, Florida College System institution direct-support organization, or state university direct-support organization may not expend any state or federal funds to promote, support, or maintain any programs or campus activities that: (a) Constitute violations of s. 1000.05; or (b) Advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion, or promote or engage in political or social activism, as defined by rules of the State Board of Education and regulations of the Board of Governors.” (HB 999 c2, lines 309-318, Florida House of Representatives)
This bill, if passed will greatly affect not only our organization, but ALL organizations Greek and non-Greek, who promote and support diversity such as student clubs and organizations that celebrate specific cultures, LGBTQ+ organizations, gender-based support organizations and associations, as well as Black, Latin, Asian, and other Multicultural sororities and fraternities. With the language of the bill extremely vague, if passed, it could have even further reaching effects.
This bill is just the latest in a series of bills introduced under Florida Governor DeSantis aiming to restrict and control educational practices and subject matter, largely focused on gender, sexuality, and critical race theory. This includes the Parental Rights in Education Act, commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay Act,” which restricted the instruction of homosexuality, gender identity, and other LGBTQ+ issues and content in public elementary schools. The Florida Department of Education also recently banned a new Advanced Placement course in African American history that covers topics such as slavery, Jim Crow laws, the civil rights movement and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Organizations such as Equality Florida, The Florida Immigrant Commission, and the Florida Chapter of Mu Sigma Upsilon’s current National Philanthropy, the NAACP, have issued travel advisories to their members and the nation at large. NAACP Florida State Conference Chair, Adora Obi Nweze, stated, “What sort of future are you fostering for Black Americans throughout Florida while eradicating our historical contributions to this nation? There is no ‘feel good’ version of the horrors and inequalities that Black Americans have faced or continue to face.”
As an organization founded on multiculturalism and uniting as women, Mu Sigma Upsilon stands firmly against Florida House Bill 999 and all attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We stand in support of our National Philanthropy, the NAACP, and ALL of our sisters and the diversity of communities and cultures they represent.
National Governing Council
Mu Sigma Upsilon Sorority, Incorporated
References and Resources: