Wha de Wata Bring: Gullah/Geechee Cultural Continuation and Environmental Preservation

Photograph of Queen Quet
Queen Quet

Thursday, February 18 | 5:30 p.m.

Nott Memorial | Union College | Free and open to the public

as part of the Kelly Adirondack Center’s lecture series on

Young leaders, diversity and the environment

A histo-musical presentation provided by Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Queen Quet presented on the importance of cultural continuation in plans for environmental preservation and will discuss how to engage community members in such efforts by using traditional knowledge as a catalyst of connection.


Queen Quet Marquetta L. Goodwine is a published author, computer scientist, lecturer, mathematician, historian, columnist, preservationist, environmental justice advocate, environmentalist, film consultant, and “The Art-ivist.” She is the founder of the premiere advocacy organization for the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition. Queen Quet has not only provided “histo-musical presentations” throughout the world but was also the first Gullah/Geechee person to speak on behalf of her people before the United Nations in Genevé, Switzerland.

Queen Quet is vetted with the United States White House as an Expert Commissioner in the Department of the Interior. She also chaired the completion of the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor General Management Plan for the “Gullah/Geechee National Heritage Corridor.” Queen Quet is also a member of the “National Park Relevancy Committee” and proudly continues to work to protect the environment and to ensure that diverse groups of people engage in the outdoors and the policies governing them. Queen Quet has engaged in several White House conferences on this issue.

Queen Quet has won countless awards for being a woman of distinction, for her scholarship, writings, artistic presentation, activism, cultural continuation and environmental preservation. Queen Quet was chosen as a TogetherGreen Fellow. Toyota and the Audubon conducted a national search and chose Queen Quet to be a part of this network of environmental conservationists. As a result, she created an on-going program called “Gullah/Geechee SEA & ME” in which SEA stands for “saving environmental actions” and ME stands for “marine environment.” This program focuses on intergenerational engagement in learning Gullah/Geechee traditions that are beneficial to the Sea Island environment and promotes engagement in citizens science activities.

Queen Quet’s accolades include the United States Jefferson Award for community service, the Jean Laney Folk Heritage Award for Gullah Advocacy from the state of South Carolina, the inaugural “Living Legacy Award” from the Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH), the inaugural HOTEP Award, the inaugural MaVynee Betsch Conservation Award, numerous Woman of Distinction Awards, the National Black Herstory Award, being featured on the “Wall of Heroes” at the National Wilderness Society headquarters in Washington, DC and on the website of The Citadel in Charleston, SC as a woman of honor. She has received several Queen Quet Day and “Gullah/Geechee Days” proclamations in various states. She received the “Preserving Our Places in History Lifetime Achievement Award” from the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission. The General Assembly of South Carolina also honored Queen Quet with Resolution 1453 for the work that she has done on behalf of her home state and Gullah/Geechee people locally, nationally, and internationally.

She was selected, elected, and enstooled by her people to be the first Queen Mother, “head pun de bodee,” and official spokesperson for the Gullah/Geechee Nation. As a result, she is respectfully referred to as “Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and Head-of-State.”

More information on Queen Quet can be found at www.QueenQuet.com.

If you have any questions, please contact Caleb Northrop at northroc@union.edu.