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East Cooper Civic Club Presents 2016 Gullah Geechee Seminar At 12th Annual Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival
5/30/2016 10:49:18 AM

Vintage image of Gullah/Geechee residents at Riverside Beach Park
From the East Cooper Civic Club

The East Cooper Civic Club presents a Gullah Geechee Seminar in conjunction with the Twelfth Annual Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival. Sessions offer information of importance, community networking and interactive dialogue for Gullah Geechee citizens, local residents and active professionals who have expertise regarding Gullah Geechee Culture, Health Disparities in the Gullah Geechee community and local challenges to Land Ownership.

Local historians, authors, and educators will address definition and survival of cultural nuances as the number of residents who have nurtured Gullah Geechee ties declines. Sonya Fordham, teacher, historian and Doctoral candidate will share views. Jared Gambrell, mentor, educator, and former recruiter in the College of Charleston’s “Call Me Mister” program will share tips for elementary school parents. Information will be available about CMM’s opportunities for African American males interested in attending college and teaching youngsters.

Medical professionals will discuss various Physical and Mental health ailments common to local residents. Local Pharmacist, Teresa Burks, will discuss ways for patients to make their medications work better for them. She will address taking medications as directed, common mistakes, what to do if you miss doses, interactions with other medications, etc. and today’s epidemic, opioid pain reliever challenges will also be addressed.

Genealogist James Pinckney and others will stress the importance of knowing family history when resolving Land and Health challenges. Dental health professionals have been invited. Seminar providers also hope to include a resource previously available -- experts who can assist with the challenge of paying for these services when financial resources are limited.

Mediation proponent and Managing Attorney for the Heirs’ Property Law Center, Willie B. Heyward, will provide recent legal updates regarding processes involved in Heirs Property matters. Panelists will address explore troubling Real Property tax issues that arise with heightened commitments to gentrification, increased commercial and residential development. Historic, neighborhood cemeteries impacted by development will also be addressed.

CIVICS is the study of the rights and duties of citizenship. The seminar panelists are local people who care deeply about local people. As in prior years, local officials will be on hand to answer your questions and receive your input in small sessions. This entire event is designed to give members of the Gullah Geechee community access and information tailored uniquely to their specific needs. The members of the East Cooper Civic Club asked each panelist to provide ideas now that people can use while they “wait for the Cavalry to come!”

ECCC extends a special invitation to our younger members of the community. 20 – 40 year olds are especially welcomed. We can no longer “wait” to get more involved in our communities! Intergenerational exchange is needed in Gullah Geechee communities and needed now. We have chosen topics that impact us greatly. Often, as Gullah Geechee residents, we receive gifts and challenges that we are not prepared for!

We ask that family members come together to receive information that can be specifically addressed after the event is long over. If you have a civic organization that is currently active or that needs to be re-energized, please come and meet others struggling with similar issues. What we can’t solve, we can understand better and be better prepared!

The event is free of charge. Networking opportunities begin at 9:30 AM on Saturday, June 4, 2016. The event location is The Cooper River Room at Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park (under the Ravenel Bridge on the Mt. Pleasant side). Street Address: 99 Harry Hallman Jr. Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464.

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