Archive for the ‘Relevant articles’ Category

A Place Fa We: Black Townships on the Gullah/Geechee Coast

June 13, 2018

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) is releasing a thirty volume series on Gullah/Geechee history, heritage, and culture entitled “Gullah/Geechee: Africa’s Seeds in the Winds of the Diaspora.”  Volume VI is entitled “A Place Fa We: Black Townships on the Gullah/Geechee Coast.”  This volume provides a brief, but comprehensive history of the incorporated townships that dot the coast of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and celebrates the visionaries that founded these areas while also examining the causes for the loss of some of them.

Mek sho hunnuh git hunnuh copee frum www.GullahGeechee.biz.

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Realities of Reconstruction Conference to be held at Reconstruction Era National Monument

May 18, 2018
Realities of Reconstruction Conference to be held at the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation
 
(18 May 2018, Beaufort, SC, Gullah/Geechee Nation) Join us for the inaugural “Realities of Reconstruction Conference” to be held at the new Mather Museum & Interpretive Center at the Technical College of the Lowcountry campus in Beaufort, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

 

Beaufort County is now the location of the new multi-site Reconstruction Era National Monument.  The “Realities of Reconstruction Conference” will engage those interested in learning more about this largely untold story of the initial steps taken into freedom by the formerly enslaved Africans.   Interactive sessions and films about the Reconstruction Era and the part that people of African descent played as well as how they suffered due to political and financial setbacks will all be part of the dialogues at the “Realities of Reconstruction Conference.”

 

Friday, the “Realities of Reconstruction Conference” will begin with a tour of the new Mather Museum & Interpretive Center followed by “De Gullah/Geechee Reconstruction Storee Tour” led by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com).  The tour will include engagement with the National Park Service interpretive rangers.

 

Saturday, the Reconstruction Luncheon and interactive conference sessions will take place at the site of the Mather School which was established during the Reconstruction Era.  Sessions will be led by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and Founder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, Ahmad Ward of the Mitchelville Preservation Project, Dr. Najmah Thomas of the Department of Africana Studies at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort (USCB) and the National Park Service. The sessions will conclude in the late afternoon and a closing celebration will take place on historic St. Helena Island, SC with the local Gullah/Geechee community.

 

Sunday, conference participants are encouraged to attend worship services at one of the churches affiliated with the Reconstruction story.  At 2 pm, a caravan will depart from the Gullah/Geechee Visitors Center in order to go to a ceremony in honor of the Combahee River Raid which was led by Harriet Tubman and Colonel Montgomery during the United States Civil War.  Dayclean de African Spirit will conclude this historic ceremony which ends the conference.

 
 
Realities of Reconstruction FlyerFlyer art by Dianne Britton-Dunham and Nizar Ahbir.

 

Pre-Registration is required.  No on-site registrations will be done.  Proceeds will benefit the Mather Museum & Interpretive Center and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition.  Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/realities-of-reconstruction-conference-tickets-41538624143?aff=erelexpmlt

This event is being sponsored by the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, GADA, USCB African Studies Department, the National Park Service, and All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™).

We look forward to bringing the truth of ourstory into reality in Beaufort County, SC.   Cum fa jayn we!

www.GullahGeechee.net

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

Public Hearings and Public Health in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

April 5, 2018

The Gullah/Geechee Nation is participating in National Public Health Week along with others throughout the United States April 2-8, 2018.   “Changing Our Future Together” requires an understanding of the various ways that we can support improving public health.  Each day of #NPHW has a different focus ranging from behavioral health and communicable diseases to injury and violence prevention and access to ensuring the right to health care and environmental health.  The Gullah/Geechee Nation has placed emphasis on the latter of the categories for the week given that improving and maintaining environmental health especially of the waterways.  Water quality, seafood safety and human health are the central focus of the work of the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank.  This is a priority because without a healthy Gullah/Geechee Nation environment, the citizens will not be healthy.

The website for #NPHW ask and answers the questions:

Why Should I Care?

Why Should I Care?:  “In the U.S., air pollution contributes to thousands of premature births and costs billions of dollars. In 2007, asthma cost the U.S. $56 billion in medical care, lost productivity and premature death. Costs of childhood lead poisoning are also in the billions (though each dollar invested in controlling the environmental hazard returns up to $200 in savings). The economic benefit of cleaning up mercury and other air toxins is in the billions — not to mention the up to 46,000 premature deaths that could be prevented.

Then there’s climate change, which will continue to impact people’s health and just about every factor that influences our health. Climate change is a serious risk to human health, impacting our food, water, air, disease risk and mental well-being. It’s expected to increase heat-related deaths, exacerbate chronic conditions such as respiratory illnesses and heart disease, increase dangerous asthma events, increase the severity and frequency of natural disasters, and endanger water safety and food security. Recent studies also document the mental toll of climate-related events. For example, two years after Superstorm Sandy, those who experienced the disaster were still reporting serious mental distress at levels nearly twice the national average.

In the last decade, extreme weather and fire events have cost the country more than $350 billion, and climate change is only predicted to make it worse. However, the negative impacts of climate change won’t be evenly distributed — it’s expected to worsen existing inequalities. One study estimated that if nothing is done about climate change, the poorest third of U.S. counties could experience climate-related damages costing up to 20 percent of a county’s entire income.”

What Can I Do?

What can I do?:

#SpeakForHealth: Environmental health is closely intertwined with policy, from laws that keep our air and water clean to rules that protect us from toxic chemicals to local ordinances that ensure healthy housing. For example, by 2020, the Clean Air Act will have prevented more than 230,000 early deaths. And thanks to policies that removed lead from products like house paint and gasoline, dangerous blood lead levels in children have plummeted (though more than 3 million young kids still live in homes with a lead risk). Smart policies that prioritize health can make a big difference.

Use your voice to support policies and decisions that prevent harmful environmental exposures, build community resilience and protect the most vulnerable. Support funding for strong environmental public health systems — these are the systems that monitor our communities for dangerous contaminants and fend off preventable disease.

Demand action on climate change: Climate change is real and one of the greatest health threats of the 21st century. Support efforts and policies that reduce climate-related emissions, prepare for and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and ready the country for a clean energy future. For example, if the Clean Power Plan stays on the books, it could save the country $20 billion in climate costs and deliver up to $34 billion in health benefits. Local and individual action on climate change makes a difference, too — learn how.

Stand for environmental justice: Environmental health risks affect some communities much more than others. For example, research shows polluting industries are disproportionately located in poor communities and in communities of color. Another example: While the number of Americans with asthma increased to 25 million between 2001 and 2009, black children shouldered a disproportionate burden, with rates going up 50 percent. Learn more about environmental injustice and how to take action at the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program.  Several of the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank members partnered with the NAACP’s program during 2017 at which Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation provided these closing remarks:

The work of the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition continues well beyond National Public Health Week.  The closing of #NPHW signals the opening of a week of public hearings in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  The hearings will determine what will take place at locations along the North Carolina and Georgia coast.

From 1936 to 1974, Kerr-McGee and other companies used a 245-acre plantation site in Navassa, NC bounded by the Brunswick River, Sturgeon Creek, a residential area, and a light industrial area for creosote-based wood treating. By 1980, Kerr-McGee dismantled the wood-treatment buildings and facilities. This was done after the area had already been contaminated and declared a “superfund site.”   The soil, sediment and groundwater are contaminated by creosote-related chemicals. The EPA has stated that the contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the Site.

In 2005, the Site was conveyed to Tronox, a Kerr-McGee spinoff that filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. In 2011, the Multistate Trust acquired the Site as a court-appointed trustee as part of the Tronox bankruptcy settlement. The Multistate Trust is working with its beneficiaries—EPA and N.C. DEQ—on the Site investigation, remediation and redevelopment planning.

The Multistate Trust has been working with EPA and N.C. DEQ on Site reuse planning with the Redevelopment Working Group of citizens, community leaders, local elected officials and other stakeholders. A community visioning workshop was held Feb. 23–24 to provide a forum for citizens to help shape the future of the Site. Residents, local leaders, and other stakeholders worked in small groups at the workshop to create possible redevelopment options for the site. Potential redevelopment options will arose from the workshop and online input statements that were taken until the end of March will be a topic of discussion during the public availability session and the public meeting on April 10 about the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Navassa Superfund Site in Navassa, N.C.

Navassa-Kerr-McGee-2018-4-10-Public-Meeting-Flyer-v2-FINAL-WEB

Public Availability Session – 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Residents will have an opportunity to talk one-on-one with experts about the Site, environmental investigations, redevelopment planning, and related topics. Representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (N.C. DEQ), and the Multistate Environmental Response Trust (Multistate Trust) will be available to answer questions and share information.

Public Meeting – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Representatives of EPA, N.C. DEQ, and the Multistate Trust will provide updates on Site environmental investigations, the upcoming study of potential remediation options, and possible redevelopment alternatives, and will answer questions.

Topics will include:

  • Environmental Investigations—The Remedial Investigation (RI) of the Site and the upcoming (RI) report is a study designed to collect the data necessary to: (1) determine the nature and extent of contamination on and off the Site; (2) characterize Site conditions; and (3) assess risk to human health and the environment.
  • Possible remediation options—The upcoming Feasibility Study (FS) of potential remediation options is designed to identify and evaluate potential remedies to address contamination at the Site, and to assess possible technologies and alternatives for their effectiveness in protecting human health and the environment.
  • Redevelopment Planning Initiative—The draft redevelopment options that resulted from the Feb. 23–24 Community Visioning Workshop held as part of the Multistate Trust’s ongoing effort to identify community-backed alternatives for the Site’s reuse.

 What is the goal of the RPI?

The goal of the RPI is to identify community-supported plans for potential Site reuses that protect human health and the environment and are environmentally and economically sustainable.

Learn more about the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp Site – Navassa at http://multi-trust.org/navassa-north-carolina or https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0403028.

If you have any questions, please contact Richard Elliott of the Multistate Trust at (617) 953-1154 or re@g-etg.com.

Gullah/Geechee Nation Sunset

At the opposite end of the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast just before you enter Florida, there is the Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a crown jewel on the Atlantic Coast. The island boasts nearly 20 miles of natural unspoiled beach, marshes and maritime forest, and acres of precious coastal wilderness.   Unfortunately, what makes this seashore a national treasure is at risk.

Camden County commissioners have asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow them to build a spaceport to launch commercial rockets over the seashore. If allowed, this could bring negative impacts to the health of Cumberland Island’s unique historic and natural resources, the safety of visitors, residents and wildlife on the island, and the impact of rocket debris and fuel contaminants to the coastal waters off the island.

The FAA has prepared a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in which they recommended issuing Camden County a license to build and operate the proposed spaceport.  Come out to this public meeting to ask the FAA questions about this plan and express your concerns about a spaceport and rocket launches over Cumberland Island.

Event Details

WHAT: Public meeting: Tell FAA, “No way” to rocket launches over Cumberland Island National Seashore

WHEN: Wednesday, April 11, and Thursday, April 12, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Camden County Public Service Authority Recreation Center Community Room, 1050 Wildcat Drive, Kingsland, GA 31545

RSVP: Register here. (This will allow you to obtain some helpful talking points ahead of the hearing.)

The public hearings will include an information session from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., the FAA presentation from 6:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., and a public statement period in which any individual may provide up to a 3-minute statement. Attending and sharing your own statement in support of protecting Cumberland Island would be enormously helpful. The FAA will transcribe all oral comments. All comments received through May 16 will be given equal weight and be taken into consideration in the preparation of the final EIS.

If you cannot attend the meeting, please share your concerns with the FAA by taking action online. For additional information, visit http://protectcumberlandisland.org/

It is critical to be a part of these public hearings that will assist in healing and maintaining the health of the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s environment.  The negative impacts of contaminants in the Charleston, SC area have led to a number of illnesses that the citizens have.  The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

Gullah Research Day Invitation Flyeris a Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank member institution that is focused on assisting with improving the public health along the South Carolina coast which is sandwiched between these two states where the hearings are taking place.  In order to learn more about the work that they have done, they will close out the month with Gullah Research Day” on Johns Island, SC.  The public is invited to attend the event. Go to https://www.facebook.com/events/195967680999964/ for more details.

The Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank will conclude the week of public hearings with their annual conference.  The Coastal Cultures Conference will be held at the shoreline of Hunting Island Nature Center.  Attending this interactive event will increase your understanding of the importance of the health of the waterways and natural environment of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and how healing the environment definitely protects human health.  Leaving the event will give you more insight and tools to use in order to fight to prevent any future contamination of the coast.

May National Public Health Week and the weeks following inspire you to #SpeakforHealth.

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The Gullah/Geechee Nation will host several events during the month of April so that the public can improve their health by being outdoors with their families.   Gwine ya fa mo info ef hunnuh wan go:

https://gullahgeecheenation.com/2018/04/03/gullah-geechee-nation-springs-into-saturday-celebrations/

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

Gullah/Geechee Nation Springs into Saturday Celebrations!

April 3, 2018

Cum jayn de Gullah/Geechee Famlee een GA and SC disya April ebee Satdee!  The Gullah/Geechee Nation will be welcoming guests from all over the world this April as they host these annual spring celebrations each Saturday:

Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm “Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival” at the St. Helena Island Community Market

This event will be a celebration filled with food, music, and family fun.  Come out and enjoy dancing to music by DJ Kwame Sha of All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™) while dining on traditional Gullah/Geechee rice dishes prepared by Gullah/Geechee Chefs Benjamin Dennis and Carolee Holmes Brown.   There will be a number of other Gullah/Geechee crafts items, books, CDs, DVDs, clothing and more on sale.   There will be traditional games for the entire family.  Cum fa jayn we fa de fuss “Gullah/Geechee Rice Fest” and yeddi bout de richness ob who de #GullahGeechee be!

Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 11 am to 5 pm “Coastal Cultures Conference 2018”

This is the annual conference sponsored by the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank.” This year the conference returns to Hunting Island, SC and will be a living laboratory focused on emergency preparedness and cultural heritage continuation.  There entire event is interactive along the shoreline including engagements with the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association members.

Coastal Cultures Conference 2018

Registration is required in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coastal-cultures-conference-2018-emergency-preparedness-and-cultural-continuation-in-coastal-tickets-41538499771

Saturday, April 21, 2018 “The Gathering at Geechee Kunda

This annual event at Geechee Kunda is for the entire family.  Cum jayn we!

The Gathering at Geechee Kunda

• Saturday, April 28, 2018 “Gullah Research Day

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is a member of the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank.  They will host a celebration with the Gullah/Geechee community on Johns Island to share the research outcomes that they have had.  The entire day is free and there will be food and fun for the family.

Gullah Research Day Invitation Flyer

www.GullahGeechee.net

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

Penn Center Community Relations Committee Host 2nd Meeting

March 22, 2018

Penn Center Community Relations Committee Meeting

 

Penn Center, Inc. has begun a Community Relations Committee (CRC). The Community Relations Committee is a standing committee of the Penn Center, Inc. Board of Trustees. It was established on December 8, 2017 in order to improve and enhance the relationship between Penn Center and the community it serves.

The CRC meets on the third Wednesday every two months at 6 pm in Frissell Hall at the Penn Center National Register Historic District.   The group was launched in January 2018. The Community Relations Committee will host at a minimum, 1 Community Forum each quarter and will also provide leadership and coordination for the Community Sing Program.    On March 21, 2018, the second CRC meeting was held which provided the community with feedback from the Penn Center Board of Trustees and staff on the community recommendations from the January meeting.

Penn Center Community Relations Committee FeedbackPenn Center Community Relations Committee FeedbackPenn Center Community Relations Committee Feedback

 

The community was introduced to the new staff members at Penn Center.  Penn is accepting applications for a number of additional employees, especially for the welcome center and summer youth and feeding programs.

The executive director provided an overview on the building projects that are still underway.  The next major building project will be the installation of a football field and area for volleyball and tennis behind the child care center.   Penn Center will also begin being fenced in before March ends.   A fitness & wellness center with two pieces of fitness equipment will soon open in Frissell Hall.  In addition to these things, staff is completing plans for a number of programming activities at the historic site in order to engage the community.   Included amongst the things that will be forthcoming in the next two months will be the completion of the farmer’s market which will provide spaces to local crafts artists on one day a week for free and the other days will be for farmers and seafood.

In addition to hearing the staff and structural updates, the community did a prioritizing exercise on 17 recommendations that had been made during the first meeting that no action has been taken on yet.  The responses to those items will be made available during the May meeting.  After the May meeting, the CRC will be structured and the actual power of the group will be determined.    A primary objective of the Community Relations Committee is to establish and maintain two-way communication between Penn Center’s board, staff and community members.

The next CRC meetings will be held at 6 pm at Frissell on:

• May 16
• July 18
• September 19
• November 21

www.PennCenter.com