Press Release: GA State Senator Donzella James Proposes State Institutions And Properties Study Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2011
Media Contact: (912) 601-3000
GA STATE SENATOR DONZELLA JAMES PROPOSES STATE INSTITUTIONS AND PROPERTIES STUDY COMMITTEE
Historic Geechee Gullah Culture Equity in Governance Press Conference,
Public Hearing Set for Tomorrow
ATLANTA/SAPELO ISLAND, Georgia – Tomorrow, Senator Donzella James, member of the Senate State Institutions and Properties Committee, will conduct an historic public hearing that spans a Geechee Gullah cultural history of over two hundred years on Sapelo Island. Data submitted into the official record of the public hearing will be submitted for full review in a State Institutions and Properties Study Committee being proposed by Sen. James.
To publicly announce her proposal, Sen. James will hold a press conference tomorrow at noon in the Georgia State Senate Pressroom (Room 204, Coverdell Legislative Office Building). SCLC newly-elected President Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., Rainbow Push Southeast Regional Director Joe Beasley, and Concerned Black Clergy President Rev. Dr. Richard Cobble will speak in support of Sen. James’ proposal and her role in this matter on the State Institutions and Properties Committee.
Sen. James will conduct a public hearing delving into data collection and research efforts that indicate land grabs of title deed - purchased land (owned by descendants of Sapelo Island’s enslaved West African ancestors) started taking place in 1871, and have continued to the present.
Efforts are already underway by Sen. James to reach across the legislative branch to the executive branch in developing strategies – long-term and short-term – to resolve existing equity in governance issues for the Geechee Gullah descendants on Sapelo Island.
“This is a chilling and compelling issue that concerns us all,” states SCLC President Farris, Jr., the nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Senator James will propose a State Institutions and Properties Study Committee on this matter during next week’s legislative session. The purpose of the study committee is to conduct thorough research into the framework of initial skeletal legislation entitled “Geechee Gullah Culture Equity in Governance Act.” The Equity in Governance legislative act is slated to be introduced during the 2012 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly.
A delegation of descendants from Sapelo Island, along with representatives and stakeholders of the Geechee Gullah Culture Non-Government Organization, Inc., will be testifying in Senator James’ public hearing tomorrow from 1:00pm - 4:00pm in Room 307 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building at the Georgia State Capitol.
The public is invited to attend.