Gwine Bak Conference in Jacksonville

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Press release from the University of North Florida:

UNF Hosts Gullah/Geechee Before and Beyond the Civil War Conference  Joanna Norris, Associate Director Department of Public Relations (904) 620-2102 

The Anthropology Club at the University of North Florida and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition is sponsoring the “Gwine Bak Conference: Gullah/Geechee Before and Beyond the Civil War” three-day conference, beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, and going through 3:45 p.m. Friday, April 1. This event is free and open to the public. 

The goal of the conference is to expose the broader UNF and Jacksonville communities to the value of community-engagement for building sustainable partnerships between the University and grassroots organizations, aimed at mutually beneficial strategies for social change. 

The Gullah/Geechee are now recognized as “the root of Africa in the New World” and the federal government officially responded in 2006 by designating the Southeastern coast as the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, which extends from Jacksonville, N.C., to Jacksonville, Fla., including all islands and 30 miles inland. 

Conference registration will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, at the UNF Intercultural Center for PEACE, located on the second floor of the UNF Student Union, Building 58 East.  

 The keynote speaker is Queen Quet Marquetta L. Goodwine, chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. She is credited with leading the revitalization efforts, which culminated in speaking before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1999 at the Commission on Human Rights on behalf of the broader Gullah/Geechee community of the Southeastern United States. 

Many of the conference participants are Gullah/Geechee community activists and leaders who have been instrumental in the establishment of the 2006 Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Preservation Act and Congressional establishment of the Gullah/Geechee Heritage Corridor. Conference sessions include: 

• Disya da who WEBE: Foundations of Gullah/Geechee” 

• “De Livin Culcha: Interactions and Education Amongst the Gullah/Geechee Population” 

• The Legacy of Identity amongst the Gullah/Geechee 

• “De Chu’ch: Livin de Legacy of Faith” 

• “Economics and the Gullah/Geechee Environment” 

• “Environmental Justice and the Sea Islands” 

• “De Land an de Sea da We: Economical Sustainability and the Environment” 

• “Commodification of History and Culture” 

 For more information about the conference, visit http://web.me.com/gullahgeecheenation/Gullah_Geechee_Nation_Gwine_Bak_Conference/Gullah_Geechee_Gwine_Bak_Conference_2011.html. To register for the conference, contact Dr. Melissa Hargrove, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, at m.hargrove@unf.edu.

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