Strengthening Our Rural Roots and Voter Participation Keys to Community Development


Covenant VII members (l-r): Wilson W. Moran, Angelisa Savage-Bryant, Dave Kelly, Chester Dunham, Chairman, Mike Jones, and Pat Gunn.
Covenant VII members (l-r): Wilson W. Moran, Angelisa Savage-Bryant, Dave Kelly, Chester Dunham, Chairman, Mike Jones, and Pat Gunn.

The Hungry Club Forum of Savannah, Inc.(HCFS) heard from two more of the community-wide study groups involved in an examination of Tavis Smiley’s The Covenant With Black America. The presentations, which will be compiled into a local publication in the late Fall, were the featured offering of the HCFS’ monthly breakfast Roundtable and Open Forum, held on August 1, 2009, in the Multipurpose Annex of the West Broad Street YMCA.

Longtime longshoreman Chester A. Dunham, Head of the local chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, is chairing the Covenant VII Study Group, that includes Wilson Moran and Dave Kelly, associated with the Harris Neck Land Trust; Pat Gunn, associated with the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative, and a local Gullah-Geechee Culture preservationist; businesspersons Mike Jones, Davita Capers-White and Angelisa Savage-Bryant; Ben Kennedy of the Kennedy Farm in Cobbtown, GA; and community activist Sidney Adkins. The focus of this dynamic preliminary report centered on heritage and cultural preservation, land retention and development and political empowerment are keys to the future prosperi1y of African Americans in the South and the nation in general. To participate in this on-going study, contact Chester Dunham at 507-9944.

The Covenant VI Study Group offered up a hard- hitting , thought provoking

Covenant VI members(l-r): Mariella Orellana, Ann Hartzell,Gwen Glover, Chariman, Dr. Zaphon Wilson, and Estelle Mannion
Covenant VI members(l-r): Mariella Orellana, Ann Hartzell,Gwen Glover, Chariman, Dr. Zaphon Wilson, and Estelle Mannion
presentation on “Claiming Our Democracy.” The focus was on the on-going need for the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and all of its accompanying protections, meanings and interpretations.

Chaired by Gwendolyn Glover, HIE Project Manager, Coastal Health Safety Net Planning Council, the group includes Co-Chairs Ann Hartzell and Judith Sweezer; Dr. Zaphon Wilson, Head of the Political Science Dept. at Armstrong Atlantic State University; cultural interpreter Mariela Orellana; and businesswoman Estelle Mannion.

In answering why the VRA is important today, the group’s report stated, “In the Republic’s more than 200- year history, African Americans have been included as nearly full participants for less than 50 years, the 10 year Reconstruction Period from 1867 to 1877 plus the years since the adoption of the VRA in 1965.” To make input into this study, contact Gwen Glover at gglovercos@ yahoo.com.

The next Hungry Club Forum will meet on Saturday September 12, 2009, at 9:30 AM, in the YMCA Annex, and feature the presentations on “Ensuring Broad Access to Affordable Housing That Connects to Opportunity” and ” Establishing A System of Public Education In Which All Children Achieve At High Levels And Reach Their Full Potential”.

For more information, please call Julia Wright at 233-0855 or Diana Harvey Johnson at 927-8425.

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