The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank has remained focused on accomplishing the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs) and continues to work with global partners to raise awareness via climate science in order to reverse the negative impacts of climate change on the Sea Islands of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. The risings seas and rising temperatures that are being witnessed have consistently been documented while the world’s scientists seek the answers to what human behaviors can be altered in order to bring these things back into alignment and cause the environment to be balanced and the earth to be healed. Some hope came during the stay-at-home orders brought on due to the coronavirus as citizens posted videos of clearing waters and replenished stocks of seafood and animals taking over open spaces on roads where cars were not moving and in parks that were now available to them 24 hours a day. Scientists examined the ozone layer and realized that it was healing and attributed this to less pollution being in the air. They also let us know that the air quality in many cities was improving and people could now see things that were miles away for the first time in decades.
Queen Quet is one of several leaders of Higher Ground that are on the frontlines fighting to save their communities. Flood activists across the country are fighting crumbling infrastructure, apathetic local governments, over-development, gentrification, and the destruction of wetlands and forests. In their own lives, many are also battling damaged property, rising insurance costs, debt, physical illness, and emotional stress — all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several of these stories about these leaders have been highlighted here:
As much as Queen Quet is focused on rising seas and how flooding is affecting the food security of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, she is also taking the time amidst the pandemic to highlight the on-going work of the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank. She does this via a weekly broadcast entitled “Zooming in on Sustainability.” In a dialogue with Kate Cell of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) she focused on the rising seas and rising temperatures and the impacts these things are having on human health on the coast.
The “Zooming in on Coastal Sustainability Scientifically” discussion about the scientific data gathering about these coastal climate change issues, Kate Cell pointed out how this leads to the issue of equity because rising seas along the coast will cause people to migrate to other locations. This flight pattern fuels the gentrification of other areas. Gentrification in the Gullah/Geechee Nation has the same impact that it does in other communities of people of African descent-displacement of the Black community. To that end, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition continues to fight against the on-slaught of things that seek to remove them from their land which includes continuing to fight environmental injustice as well as destructionment.
The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank and their supporters are continuing to rise to the occasion in doing just that. They are thankful that so many others are rising with them to stand for justice and bring about equality and equity. Let’s take this stand higher than the rising sea @GullahGeechee!