FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2015
Today, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) President Elmira Mangum, Ph.D., issued the following statement regarding the Greater Tallahassee Chamber Annual Community Conference:
I applaud the Chamber for its decision to forgo holding its 2016 community conference in Walton County, Fla. The Chamber’s decision reveals its respect for the diversity of the Tallahassee community. The Chamber has been exemplary in embracing diversity and has been a great supporter of the FAMU community. From a business perspective, I understand its decision to honor the legal and binding contract it has in place to host this year’s event in Walton County.
At FAMU, we have no tolerance for discrimination in any form, and it is my personal belief that known symbols of hatred, racism, or oppression should not be displayed in public venues that people from diverse backgrounds patronize. As such, I have made the personal decision not to attend this year’s event. Yet, I remain hopeful that we will continue to progress towards a society that embraces diversity and inclusion without the cost of humiliating or demeaning each other.
While it is my personal decision not to attend, I understand that doing business never stops and that many of the participants of the event are interested in doing business with FAMU and vice versa. As such, I have left it up to faculty and staff to determine if attending the event will be beneficial to them in respect to facilitating business relationships that will help them achieve their objectives.
Jimmy L. Miller
Vice President for Communications and External Relations
Media Relations Coordinator