As the world gears up for the celebration of World Oceans Day, the people of Korea welcomed the United Nations Communities of Ocean Action delegation to their first meeting which was held on the day that they celebrated the ocean. Among the invited speakers for this historic gathering was Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.c0m) who gave this powerful presentation concerning the actions that the Gullah/Geechee Nation is taking in regard to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
This high level meeting was the second that Queen Quet attended in defense of the world’s waters during the month of May.
Two weeks ago, she was a delegate at the first UNESCO World Water Conference in Paris, France. Between the two meetings, Queen Quet returned to the Gullah/Geechee Nation to participate in Hands Across the Sands to stand with others against offshore drilling and seismic gun testing.
Queen Quet who has been recognized as an “Oceans Hero” will continue her efforts to raise awareness of all the issues that Gullah/Geechee Sea Islanders are facing in regard to climate change, sea level rise, and negative impacts on the waterways as she continues to go around the globe on the #GullahGeechee “Healin de Land World Tour.” The work that is taking place to sustain Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage and the environment from which it stems has been featured by “The Root” online and in the Ocean Conservancy newsletter during May as well.
Queen Quet is no stranger to the United Nations due to the fact that she was the first Gullah/Geechee in world history to be invited to speak before the human rights commission in Geneva, Switzerland on behalf of her people in 1999. Since then, Queen Quet has continued to be an active part of representing her people at numerous international conferences and meetings. The swell of the tide of requests for her to come back to that arena and to other environmental and climate change related conferences is swelling. Queen Quet is riding this wave because she truly believes as the Gullah/Geechee proverb says, “De wata bring we and de wata gwine tek we bak.” The water is now the issue taking the Queen and the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s concerns back to the global stage.