We create solutions at the intersection of land and culture.
The Trust's Mission
To serve and sustain our community by protecting our land ownership, investing in our cultural resources and promoting our history and heritage.
Protecting Gullah-owned Land
In 2022 GGCCT began recruiting heirs property landowners to participate in a LISC Jacksonville pilot program to help heirs in Nassau County to file probate cases at no cost to them. The program, initiated by LISC, in partnership with Three Rivers Legal Services, has recruited families who intend to maintain ownership of their property after title has been cleared.
Photo caption: Kristopher Smith, LISC Jacksonville Community Outreach Officer, introduces the heirs property program's partners, sponsors, research findings and overall objectives during a workshop in February 2023 at the Jessie Ball duPont Center in Jacksonville.
Investing in Cultural Resources
In 2021 GGCCT took the lead in advocating for the protection of African American burials on private property in Nassau County, Fla., where they have been endangered by development and erasure. The nonprofit continues to connect descendants to their lost ancestors.
Photo caption: The great-great granddaughter of James Hill Jr. places a floral piece at his grave. Hill died in 1942 and was buried in Crandall, the community where he lived, worked and raised his family. Until 2023, none of his grandchildren knew the location of his burial on private property where thriving turpentine and timbering operations once existed.
Promoting History & Heritage
Community elder Gloria Jean Thomas, left, inside Harper Chapel Baptist Church, speaks with WJCT 89.9 public radio news reporter Claire Heddles about the church's history in Piney. GGCCT is advocating for Piney residents in Yulee where sawmill tenant workers were interred. Residents are still searching for the graves of ancestors buried near the church from the 1900s until about 1950. The developer who constructed a stormwater retention pond in the suspected vicinity of burials has not provided an archaeological report.