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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Black Fraternity Sues for Racial Discrimination After Being Turned Away By Venue

Alpha Kappa Alpha

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha at the University of Alabama

Mobile, AL — The alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi at the University of Alabama is suing a local venue after they were reportedly turned away for being an “all Black group.” The lawsuit filed against Cypress Inn Restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama alleges that the staff and owner initally agreed to host the fraternity’s fundraiser, but then changed their mind after learning that it was a predominantly African American event.

It happened late last year in December when Kappa members put down a $1,500 deposit for the event which was to be held in February. But around two weeks before the event, the men were told they would have to take their business elsewhere.

They were reportedly told that the venue did not have enough security to man the event. Members of the fraternity responded that they could fund their own security, but that offer was rejected.

According to the complaint filed:

The Plaintiffs also inquired whether insurance coverage was an issue and produced proof of insurance and pledged to sign a waiver to hold the Cypress Innharmless from any liability related to the event. The Cypress Inn rejected thisproposal as well. Plaintiffs even presented the Defendant with pictures of past eventsand stated that their membership was comprised of African-American professionals and business leaders. The Defendant still refused to rent the venue to them.

Finally, the owner of the Cypress Inn [white female] was contactedregarding the issue and stated that the venue had encountered problems with the Plaintiffs’ “kind” before and therefore the decision disallowing their use of the venuewould stand.

Sadly, the fraternity had already advertised and sold tickets for the event to occur at the Cypress Inn. So, they were forced to refund some tickets and they ended up hosting the venue at another location. But they say they lost money as this was a fund-raising event to benefit local mentoring programs.