Distinguished Speaker Evening with Emory Campbell
|Pemberton Society Founding President Lucia Henley Jack, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, and Emory Campbell|
On February 13, Bank Street's Pemberton Society hosted a special event featuring distinguished speaker Emory Campbell, who delivered a lecture titled "Penn Center: A Distinctive Change Agent for Freedom, From Emancipation Day to Present."
The contributions of Emory Shaw Campbell to the cultural and environmental heritage of South Carolina are enormous. He and his family live on Hilton Head Island, where he grew up and developed his love of the Sea Islands. Born in 1941, on Hilton Head Island, SC, he graduated from high school in 1960, as class Valedictorian. In 1965, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Savannah State College and in 1971 he earned a MS in Environmental Engineering from Tufts University in Boston.
Mr. Campbell’s concern for the future of the Sea Islands became apparent as he began to apply his education to real life situations in 1971 at the Beaufort-Jasper Health Center. For almost ten years thereafter in his capacity as an Environmental Health Engineer he addressed issues that affected the daily lives of island people. His goal was to inform and discuss methods of preserving and enhancing the unique and rich Gullah cultural and environmental heritage in the face of rapid development on the islands.
In 1980, he took a step closer to his goal, becoming the Executive Director of Penn Center, located on St. Helena Island. He vigorously embarked on a program to revive the Center’s historical significance and its educational programs, and to preserve the cultural and environmental assets of the Sea Islands. To help achieve this, he organized the now nationally recognized Penn Center Heritage Days Celebration. He also revised the family farm program and expanded the cultural program to assist cultural artists, environmentalists, linquists, filmmakers and authors -- among them Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Patricia Jones-Jackson and Verta Mae Grosvenor. He served as inaugural Chairman of the Federal appointed Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission for preserving Gullah Geechee culture, 2008 - 2012.
Mr. Campbell has appeared in many documentaries, news magazines, films and radio and television programs, including 60 Minutes; The Today Show; a PBS special, Family Across the Sea; as well as on C-Span’s Washington Journal. He has been awarded the Governor’s Award for Historical Preservation (1999), was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame (1999). He was awarded the Carter G. Woodson Award for Civil Rights by the National Education Association in 2006. In 2010 his essay titled “A Sense of Self and Place: Unmasking My Gullah Cultural Heritage” was published with ten other essays in the book, “African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry” by the University of Georgia Press. Later that year he received the Environmental Stewardship Award from the SC Aquarium. He was awarded honorary Doctors of Humane Letters by Bank Street College, N. Y. in 2000 and by the University of South Carolina, Beaufort, 2012.
He authored the guide Book “Gullah Cultural Legacies” in October 2002, Second Edition 2005, Third Editon 2008. He retired from Penn Center in December 2002 after twenty-two years. He is currently President of Gullah Heritage Consulting Service whence he conducts institutes on Gullah Cultural heritage and related issues through lectures, short courses and the Gullah Heritage Trail Tours on Hilton Head Islands.
Mr. Campbell holds a B.S. Degree in Biology from Savannah State College and a M.S. Degree in Environmental Engineering from Tufts University. He has received numerous honors including an Honorary Doctorate in 2000 from Bank Street College of Education.
The Priscilla E. Pemberton Society is key to Bankstreet’s College-wide strategic plan to increase diversity among its student body, and in the field of education itself.
The Society’s mission is two-fold:
- to raise funds for scholarships for students of color at Bankstreet College
- to support a diverse community of students and alumni of color by providing mentoring and other services.
Since 2005 the Pemberton Society has raised $3.3 million for endowed diversity scholarships. Recently, the Pemberton Society launched the Lucia Henley Jack Student Support Fund to raise money for programs and/or services which will enhance the academic experience of students of color at Bankstreet College. The Lucia Henley Jack Student Support Fund is named for the Pemberton Society’s founding President, Lucia Henley Jack.
Bankstreet’s founder, Lucy Sprague Mitchell, knew that effective education demands classrooms that reflect the diversity of their community. The College has always aspired to this ideal, and we have been fortunate to receive over $3.3 million from generous donors who share our commitment to increasing diversity in all our classrooms. The Pemberton Society salutes those endowment donors who continue to help us live and learn together:
- The Altman Foundation Minority Scholarship Endowment
- The Alumni Opportunity Fund
- The Augusta Kappner Scholarship
- The Charina Endowment Fund
- The C.V. Starr Scholarship Fund
- The Diversity Fund
- The Hearst Endowment Minority Scholarship
- The Iscol Scholarship Fund
- The Joyce and David Dinkins Tribute Scholarship
- The Louis-Dreyfus Scholarship Fund
- The Mark Family Fund
- The Minority Fellows Program
- The Minority Scholarship Fund
- The Priscilla E. Pemberton Scholarship Fund
- The Rudy Jordan Fund
- The Teachers Resource for Equality in Education (TREE) Fund
- The Waisman Family Scholarship for Leadership in Museum Education
- The William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship Fund