Summer volunteers pitch in

Tariq Edwards, left, and Maddie Hilliard

The Gullah Gone documentary film is not on summer break. Four young volunteers are making critical contributions by transcribing interviews, posting online and helping edit footage. The big goal this summer is to emphasize our message: the goal of our movie is to help preserve Gullah land and culture.

In return, volunteers attend weekly Film School meetings to learn the Gullah Geechee heritage, its origin, and how the Gullah Project is advocating for the preservation of the Gullah Geechee community on Saint Helena Island.

Our two new students are Madison Hilliard, a Public Relations major at the University of South Carolina and Tariq E. Edwards, a Mass Communications major at Claflin University. Both are part of University of South Carolina’s SMART program in which USC faculty mentor minority undergraduate students through summer research projects. They are working with Associate Professor Denise McGill to create strategies to bring awareness to local communities, build relationships with our audience and learn about film production.

We sat down with the student researchers to talk about why they are giving up summer time and get involved:

Hilliard, a native of Anderson, S.C. states, “Gullah heritage is so close to home and so relevant in this day and age that I couldn’t help but be interested as soon as I heard about it.”

Edwards, from Dumfries, V.A. says, “I decided to become an intern so that I could get an in-depth behind the scenes look at an actual documentary that regards black life and culture.”

In addition, two recent graduates and returning volunteers, Jai-Anna Carter and Steven Tapia, have shown their passion and commitment to the project through numerous hours and in many capacities. The Gullah Project family appreciates all of our students for their interest and engagement.

The Gullah Project is passionate about its pursuits and love you to be a part of a great team.  For more information on how to get involved, reach out to us the


Published by mcgillmedia

I take pictures and teach other people how to do it, too.

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