Florida Black Colleges Receive
Settlement From Hotel Bias Case
Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth recently presented a check for $250,000 to Florida A&M University (FAMU) as its portion under a settlement of discrimination charges against the Adams Mark Daytona Beach Resort. FAMU will use the money to develop scholarships in business administration.
FAMU’s share of the money is part of the $1 million agreement reached last December under which Adams Mark settled state charges that it discriminated against guests attending the 1999 Black College Reunion in Daytona Beach. Since then, the U.S. Department of Justice has monitored all 20 nationwide properties of Adams Mark to ensure that the company has changed its policies to prevent discrimination in the future.
Upon accepting the funds from Butterworth, FAMU Interim President Henry Lewis III thanked the attorney general for his support of historically Black colleges and universities.
“Florida A&M University is glad that justice has been served for all,” Lewis said. “This has been a bad situation turned into a good one.”
In the settlement of the discrimination charges, Adams Mark agreed to pay $600,000 to historically Black colleges in Florida. Of that amount, FAMU was allotted $250,000, Bethune-Cookman College received $150,000 and Edward Waters College and Florida Memorial College got $100,000 each.
Adams Mark also agreed to pay another $400,000 to reunion attendees who stayed at the resort April 9-10, 1999. The restitution amounts to approximately $1,000 per individual claim. It is estimated that 1,200 hotel guests attended the reunion, and so far, 100 claims have been filed. Any money left over will be divided equally among the Black colleges.
Butterworth says the State of Florida would possess zero tolerance for discrimination. And Lewis echoed his sentiments.
“The Black College Reunion Weekend makes one of the largest economic impacts on the Daytona Beach community each year,” Lewis says. “This settlement will assist FAMU in educating future leaders that can change traditional policies and procedures.”
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