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The NAACP says Black student-athletes should be aware of Florida's 'anti-black movement'

Derrick Johnson, CEO and President of the NAACP, presents the president's award at the 54th NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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Derrick Johnson, CEO and President of the NAACP, presents the president's award at the 54th NAACP Image Awards on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is making headlines for its response to a handful of Florida institutions phasing out diversity programs on their campuses.

This comes a year after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law prohibiting the use of state funds for any diversity, equity, or inclusion (DEI) programs. That measure was part of DeSantis’ Stop Woke Act and is now the reason the NAACP has stepped in to “protect people of color.”

“It's a very inclusive concept and inclusion enhances the experiences of all students on campuses," said NAACP Inaugural Education Fellow and Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ashley White, Ph.D.

Republican candidate for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks to the College Republican students on the campus of Florida International University on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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AP
Republican candidate for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks to the College Republican students on the campus of Florida International University on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson sent a letter on Monday to current and future student-athletes of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The letter said the organization is targeting schools like North Florida, Florida International, and the University of Florida because they all recently halted DEI initiatives.

For that reason, NAACP's White thinks Black student athletes should attend college elsewhere.

“We are encouraging them to take advantage of the options that exist," said White. "Really reconsider and think consciously about the institutions they sign on to, whether or not those intuitions really support their holistic needs and welfare.”

The University of Florida issued a statement earlier this month saying they are reallocating the money originally set aside for DEI programs, into a separate faculty recruitment fund. So far, no other schools in Florida have said if they will follow suit.

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Adrian Andrews