Gullah/Geechee Mobilization and Celebration for Gullah/Geechee Volunteer Month 2023

Gullah/Geechee Volunteer Month takes place every March. March 2023 allowed the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition to host a number of outstanding student volunteers who assisted in environmental projects on historic St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

Warren Wilson Bonner Students returned once again to do an outstanding job serving the St. Helena Island community.
Bowie State University returned to historic St. Helena Island to engage in cultural immersion and community service as part of their alternative spring break program. They worked with and learned from Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation during their multi-day service and education journey.

These students helped advance the Greening Gullah/Geechee Communities Project which focuses on the sustainability of the Sea Islands of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and other Gullah/Geechee Nation leaders have continued to focus on the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Plan for over a decade as part of the Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy Movement. The plan focuses on protecting the health of the land, water quality and food security and using cultural heritage as part of green infrastructure projects. This will be discussed at the CERF webinar taking place at 10 am EST on March 30.

Hunnuh kin REGISTER ya fa We de Coast and de Estuary: Sustaining the Flowing Legacy of the Gullah/Geechee:

The estuaries of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the Atlantic Ocean are all critical to the sustainability of the Gullah/Geechee fisheries, coastline, and cultural heritage traditions. In order to assist with the education about best practices in adaptation and sustainability that center cultural heritage, the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s leaders and the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank annually host the Coastal Cultures Conference. This year, the theme of the Coastal Cultures Conference is “OCEAN-Ocean Community Engaging Action Now!” The conference is being sponsored by GOD, the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association, the Ocean Conservancy, the Ocean Justice Advocacy Group, the National Ocean Protection Coalition, Pew Charitable Trust, the South Carolina Environmental Law Center, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Defenders of Wildlife. The conference funding supports the on-going community education and capacity building efforts of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Gullah/Geechee Angel Network via the Gullah/Geechee SEA & ME Program (SEA stands for “saving environmental action” and ME stands for “marine environment”), the Gullah/Geechee Agroculture Project and the Greening Gullah/Geechee Communities Project.

Hunnuh kin REGISTER fa de Coastal Cultures Conference ya:

Many that are arriving for the Coastal Cultures Conference will join the St. Helena Island community at a rally to ensure that Beaufort County, SC strengthens the Cultural Protection Overlay District zoning for this historic island which is seen as the epicenter of Gullah/Geechee culture. Historic St. Helena Island has recently come under threat due to a proposal to build an exclusive gated golf resort and multiple housing units on Pine Islands and St. Helenaville which are a part of the St. Helena Island Cultural Protection Overlay District. The CPO bans the building of resorts, gated areas and golf courses. Therefore, the community has come out to several Beaufort County government meetings to make it clear that the CPO law MUST remain intact just as Gullah/Geechee culture has remained intact on this island for hundreds of years. The native Gullah/Geechees of St. Helena Island are calling on the world to join them at the St. Helena Elementary School on Thursday, March 30th at 5:30 pm to be a part of standing up with them against destructionment coming to St. Helena Island!

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and Founder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition was the inaugural chair of the Cultural Protection Overlay District Committee and she has been elected to chair this committee once again. This is just one of the many leadership roles that Queen Quet has. She will be honored for her tireless service at the Queen Tribute to Greatness Award Ceremony and Concert on Friday, March 31, 2023 in the USCB Performing Arts Center in Beaufort, SC. Attendees of the Coastal Cultures Conference can obtain tickets for the evening when they register for the conference, all others should go to this link:

The concert will be the perfect way to close out Women’s Herstory Month with powerful Gullah/Geechee women who have dedicated their lives to the type of service that is exemplified each Gullah/Geechee Volunteer Month.

Hunnuh chillun cum jayn we een disya movement fa hol pun who webe een de Nayshun ob de Gullah/Geechee!

If you can’t make it to the Gullah/Geechee Nation, but want to contribute to the Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy Fund, donate here:

Tenki Tenki!

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