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Tourney Moved Out of California in Protest

October 10, 1995

Organizers of a prestigious African American golf and tennis tournament that was to be held near Palm Springs will move the event to Florida to protest recent attacks on affirmative action in California by Gov. Pete Wilson.

Black Enterprise magazine publisher Earl G. Graves is scheduled to announce the move of the Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf and Tennis Challenge at a Los Angeles news conference today .

"This is not a move against California, it is a move against the unprincipled positions of Pete Wilson," Graves said.

Graves said that moving the tournament from the La Quinta Hotel and Resort to the Doral Resort and Country Club in Miami expresses the magazine's opposition to a proposed ballot initiative that would forbid the state government from considering race, sex or ethnicity in hiring or contracting, as well as a July vote by the University of California Board of Regents to abolish race-based admissions, hiring and contracting. Both the proposed ballot measure and the regents' vote were backed by Wilson.

The tournament, which will be held over the Labor Day weekend, typically draws a diverse group of prominent African Americans, including professional basketball player Moses Malone and former New York Mayor David Dinkins. More than 1,000 attended last year's tournament in Florida, and Graves said the event generates more than $2 million for area businesses.

The move is the second cancellation of an African American event in California over Wilson's stand on affirmative action. In June, the National Urban League canceled its national convention that was to have been held in Los Angeles.

The Urban League withdrew its convention after an executive order by Wilson to abolish all state affirmative action committees and scale back state preferences for minorities to the level required by state and federal law.

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