Non-profit formed to preserve Gullah Geechee neighborhoods

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:56 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 6:29 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, Sc. (WTOC) - Hilton Head government has started a nonprofit focused on preserving historic Gullah Geechee neighborhoods. Now, the town is looking for an executive director to lead it.

“Why am I involved with this? Because it’s important,” said Shirley “Peaches” Peterson, board chair of Gullah Historic Neighborhoods.

She’s one of five on the Gullah Geechee focused board.

Sot: {Alex Brown - Councilman, District 1}

“We’ve had some initial conversations about stabilizing the historic neighborhoods on Hilton Head and now we need someone to run the ship,” said Councilman for District 1.

Alex Brown is another member and as he said, they’re now getting close to finding a leader.

”We’ve gone through about 90 some odd applicants, interviewed over 10 and now we’re down to the final two.”

As far as what their looking for in the person who eventually becomes executive director...

”The goal is for this person to unite.”

“Someone that really understands the significance of culture here in our country, in our state, throughout the Gullah Geechee corridor and particularly here on Hilton Head.”

In many places on the island historic communities are split in half so the board chair says ensuring the native community is heard will be crucial.

”It is important that all people have a voice and that no one’s left behind.”

The hope inside council chambers is that an agreement will be reached with one of the final candidates soon, and from there it’s time to get to work.

“We need to go through sort of a strategic planning session so we can understand what we’re trying to get done in the first 60 180 two year three year.”

When an executive director for this Gullah development group is hired, we’ll let you know.