Part of my blessing has been sitting on community committees with partners at MUSC-the Medical University of South Carolina. My first steps into that institution happened over two decades ago when I was asked to come and do a keynote address for mental health professionals. I was to assist them with cultural competency since they had to work in the Gullah/Geechee community. The Q & A that day was as life changing as my presentation for the APHA. The dialogue gave me insight into the vast differences that people of various cultures have regarding stability and how that balance is to be maintained. Some continually seek outside measures through pleasure, drugs-legal and illegal, thrill seeking or risk taking and others go seeking inside spiritually, but sometimes miss the mark and think that is also an external action. Thus, they walk into and out of churches, synagogues, mosques, and locations of spiritual rituals unchanged and off balanced. I was there to help the doctors to be more receptive to overstanding spirituality and the Gullah/Geechee community and how this helps with mental stability. It was about trust. Trust in GOD. Trust in spirit. Trust in who is delivering the message. Trust in their cultural legacy as it relates to who is bringing the message.
I have lived through several hurricanes on St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. I have also been engaged in disaster preparedness and climate change planning in the Gullah/Geechee Nation and other parts of the world. More than all of this, I am a person of faith. However, I do not simply pray-I prepare. So, as I pray and I prepare, GOD has called me to also share.