On June 23, 2020, Governor DeSantis signed House Bill 1213, Education Instruction of Historical Events. The bill directed the Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) to assess naming opportunities for state parks, or a portion of a facility therein, to recognize victims of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots. The bill included a provision allowing DEP’s Secretary the option to appoint a committee to assess naming opportunities.
The Ocoee Election Day Riots Historical Review and Dedication Committee (committee) was created by DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein to provide recommendations on naming/renaming opportunities for state parks to recognize the victims of the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Riots.
The committee will also look to identify properties, structures and other areas that may serve as potential historical markers and/or state-owned historical sites associated with the Ocoee Election Day Riots.
The Committee was created to bring together a diverse group of advocates, historians and civil rights stakeholders who will play an essential role in ensuring the victims of the Ocoee tragedy are recognized.
Dr. Jan Boulware Associate Professor of English and Interim Dean of College of Arts and Humanities Bethune-Cookman University
Larry Brinson Commissioner City of Ocoee
Eric Draper Director, Division of Recreation and Parks Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Shawn Hamilton Deputy Secretary for Land and Recreation Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Anthony “Tony” Hill Chair Commissioner of Education’s African American History Task Force
Dr. David Jackson, Jr. Associate Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of School of Graduate Studies and Research Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Dr. William E. O’Brien Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies, Wilkes Honors College Florida Atlantic University
George Oliver Commissioner City of Ocoee
Dr. Timothy Parsons Director, Division of Historical Resources Florida Department of State
Pamela Schwartz Executive Director Orange County Regional History Center
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.