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  • Writer's pictureEqual Ground

Florida’s Newest African American History Taskforce Members

In June 2023 the Florida Department of of Education recently appointed six new members to the Florida African American History Taskforce. A taskforce established by the Florida Department of Education in 1994. The taskforce currently has a total of six members but only four have voting privelages.



The two additional members Congresswoman Federick Wilson and Florida Senator Gerladine Thompson are non-voting members in Emerita.


The new taskforce members were appointed by the Florida Department of Education Chairman Manny Diaz, Jr. It is unclear when and how they were selected to serve on the taskforce.

The New Members:

Torey Alston, Chair of the Broward School Board(was appointed by DeSantis)

John Davis, Secretary of the Florida Lottery(was appointed by DeSantis)

Glen Gilzean, District Administrator for Reedy Creek(was appointed by DeSantis)

Rep. Kimberly Daniels, State Representative from Duval County

Rep. Berny Jacques, State Representative Pinellas County

Dr. Frances Presley Rice, Retired Attorney



The Problem:

The Task Force was scheduled to meet on June 14th & 15th however, they decided to postpone the meeting. Their rationale was to allow the entire Task Force to participate in the event planning and align to the new K-12 African American History standards that will be presented to the State Board of Education (SBOE) in their July meeting.


It could be perceived that the newest members of the taskforce were operating outside of the states sunshine laws when it voted as a bloc to postpone the scheduled training. A new date and time have not been determined.


Take Action:

Given the recent attacks on Black History, diversity, and inclusion by the DeSantis administration, we have serious concerns that this critical board may deviate from its intended purpose and take on the philosophy of the Governor with respect to its views on the importance of teaching an accurate unblemished accounting of Black History.


We need to remind this taskforce to maintain its mission.


We are asking that you please take a moment to email the members of the Task Force and urge them to reschedule the summer institute meeting as soon as possible and reject any efforts to censor the truth and full spectrum of African American History.



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