Food has a way of connecting us. It brings us together, builds relationships and teaches us about different cultures and histories. And – although chef James Beard probably wasn’t thinking of land preservation, climate change and agriculture when he said, “Food is our common ground” – it also connects us to the land that feeds us.
For sophomore Alani Boyd, a College of Charleston Bonner Leader and student in the Honors College, it all goes hand in hand – especially when it comes to preserving the Lowcountry’s Gullah Geechee culture, history and land. That’s why she designed and organized a “Service Saturday” experience last month highlighting land preservation efforts, climate change and agriculture to help her fellow Bonner Leaders connect with Gullah history, culture and cuisine.
“Organizing this event was important for me. I’ve been really interested in the Gullah culture, as so many aspects have historical and cultural influence on our lives today,” says Boyd, an international studies and political science double major. “My interest in the Gullah culture and the social issues surrounding its cultural preservation was sparked by my want to connect with individuals on the basis of history that has been influencing and impacting us for years.”
Boyd coordinated the daylong event as part of her responsibilities as a member of the College’s Bonner Leader Program, a four-year civic leadership and development program in which students work with local community partners and nonprofits to volunteer approximately 300 hours per academic year.
To learn more about Alani and the Service Saturday event she coordinated, read the full article by Alicia Lutz in the College Today, and then check out an accompanying video broadcast by WCIV News Channel 4.