In 2012, Dr. Ade Ofunniyin had a vision for an organization that would advocate for, preserve and protect Gullah Geechee burial grounds, history and culture. Between 2016-2020, the ASABG team - Ade Ofunniyin, Joanna Gilmore, La'Sheia Oubré, Grant Mishoe, Raquel Fleskes and Theodore Schurr, worked to further the mission of the Gullah Society, guided by the Ancestors. This website documents the memorialization process for the Anson Street Ancestors, between 2017-2019, and provides space for updates about our ongoing work. Thank you for supporting us.
Photo taken by Servant Emannuel Branch, May 2022.
Our Team Ethos
It is our responsibility to work together as a team and in the community with integrity and honesty. We stand by the following statements:
As individuals we recognize our positionality – acknowledging social position and power dynamics that are at play.
Operate in a way that privileges the voices of individuals or groups who have been or are presently oppressed.
Recognize that descendant communities should have the authority to control the study, treatment and preservation of ancestral remains, sacred sites and cultural objects.
Embrace engagement at every level within the local and broader contexts in which we operate.
Regularly re-evaluate who the work benefits and how we can increase benefits to individuals or groups that have not been considered in the past and/or are under-represented.
Our research should focus on exploring the effects of complex social dynamics and contexts on human life experiences, acknowledging the value and experiences of individuals, giving voice to stories that were suppressed or invisible, and recovering their agency - which was denied through oppression.
Operate with mutual respect for each other and for the individuals that we serve. Ensure that relationships are founded on trust, integrity, dignity and connectedness.
Recognize the moral responsibility that we have as researchers, remain concerned with including and collaborating with invested parties.
Research should be systematic, rigorous, replicable and scientifically sound, with detailed contextual data collected.
As a team, communicate regularly, sharing plans and providing updates about ongoing work.
Be cognizant about different sensibilities regarding the sharing of knowledge, who has access to information, when it is appropriate to share information.
Operate in a way that is socially, economically, culturally and environmentally sustainable; for example, intentionally support local, Black-owned businesses.