Race, Power, and the Preservation of African-American History
& Gullah-Geechee Culture in the Lowcountry

July 28-Aug 1, 2019

During this five-day program, explore the preservation of African-American history and culture in Savannah and Georgia's coastal islands. Experience the historic city of Savannah, with its stunning architecture and grand live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, as well as the lovely Lowcountry coastal landscape, with its expansive marshes and refreshing sea breezes. Through a service-learning project and cultural immersion, learn how different museums and heritage organizations preserve the history of African-Americans in the Lowcountry. Focusing on the themes of race, slavery, and the education of African-Americans this program considers the impact of geography, environment, and diaspora on the development of community values and culture by looking at two different experiences: the urban environment of Savannah and the rural Gullah-Geechee culture on the barrier island Sapelo. The Gullah-Geechee culture is distinctive and found only in the Lowcountry: the Gullah-Geechee people are descended from formerly enslaved people, primarily from the East Coast of Africa. During this program engage in a service-learning project with museums and heritage sites. Learn how to establish reciprocal partnerships with similar organizations back in your home community for future collaboration within the classroom. Receive a professional development certificate for training in creating a culturally responsive classroom, and using the Nobis Global Action Method to guide students to complete culturally focused service-learning projects.

"This is a great opportunity to work in collaboration with a diverse group of teachers to create civic engagement lessons and/or service learning projects that will empower students. It is an experience that will keep challenging you to make change no matter how much time has passed." – Cindy Reyes, 2nd grade teacher, San Antonio, TX

Program Includes
  • Cultural Immersion with excursions exploring history, architecture, agriculture, ecology, urban and rural family life, and education of African-Americans and Gullah in the Lowcountry from slavery to present day.
  • Service-Learning with organizations whose work centers on the preservation of African-American history and culture in the Lowcountry.
  • Professional Development
    • An elearning component prior to travel with short readings, videos, and reflective assignments to prepare teachers before travel.
    • Hands-on action planning and social action workshops.
    • Ongoing community of support from Nobis Project and the cohort as teachers lead and document service-learning projects in their classrooms.
    • Professional development certificate available.

Cost - $1,250

This comprehensive fee includes shared accommodations, all meals, beverages (excluding alcoholic), excursions, activity fees, gratuities, and professional development training. Your only additional costs would include travel to Savannah and any spending money you want to bring to purchase snacks or gifts while traveling.

Scholarships up to 50% are available first come, first served.
Discounts for early reigstration and groups are available.

Registration Deadline

April 1, 2019
Space is limited, apply today!

Trip Highlights*
  • Discover the historical city of Savannah, Ga – including architecture, heritage sites, and local cuisine.
  • Trace the history the African-American experience and education in the Lowcountry from slavery to present day.
  • Visit historical sites such as the Savannah slave market, sites on the Underground Railroad, 1st African Baptist Church (the oldest Black church in the US), and many more.
  • Learn how to develop reciprocal service-learning partnerships between your classroom and museums or heritage sites.
  • A variety of cultural excursions include: Secret Black Schools Tour, Urban Slavery Tour, Davenport House Junior Interpreters Program, tour of Sapelo Island’s Geechee history by local residents. For details see itinerary.


Draft Itinerary*

Click here to view full itinerary.

What Past Participants Have To Say

"The Nobis created a safe place for other educators from around the country to share our stories and discuss difficult issues. I want to remember these lessons in my own teaching."

“After this experience I will make sure and continue to seek out knowledge that is deliberately left out of the history books.”

“I rediscovered the power, intelligence and resilience of my people.”

“I learned that it can be difficult at times to face down our own opinions, perceptions, and beliefs: sometimes to the level of denial. But it doesn’t mean people can’t grow. They can.”

“I rediscovered how important my own mission in life is. To show people love and truth. To always speak in truth and love. But I also am reminded that it can be challenging, but we just have to keep moving forward.”

“I rediscovered my roots.”

“After this experience I will continue to research the invisible/untold history of the enslaved Africans in America.”

“I learned about the history of the African American enslaved people and was reconnected to my Geechee heritage.”

“I learned that I need to be more aware of my own privilege and power when interacting with my students.”

“I learned that we have some remarkable teachers who are doing an amazing job in improving education for students.”

“I learned that there are many people in many places who are committed to doing this work.”

“I learned that teachers from various geographical locations have very different viewpoints of social justice and race issues in the South.”

“I learned that there are important racial justice efforts underway in the South by both while folks and folks of color.”

“The cultural immersion was fantastic (especially for an outsider). I appreciate your organization and the attention to detail. I also appreciate your use of the community in informing us about issues in their community.”

“I had never been exposed to the history of slavery and the impact of the south in a personal and meaningful way. This was the biggest plus for me.”

“Learning more about the history of slavery and resilience in Savannah from Vaughnette, Jamal and Chuck were particularly meaningful parts of the program for me. I also found it powerful to visit Sapelo Island, especially Chocolate Plantation, and was struck by how the experience was even more meaningful having read God, Dr. buzzard and the Bolito Man. The conversations we were able to have with locals during mealtimes also greatly enhanced the experience. And I very much appreciated opportunities to process, share and delve more deeply with other participants during car rides, walks and late night debriefing/reflecting times.”

“I found the conversations at the table about teaching experiences and cultural experiences inspired by the tours and activities very meaningful.”

“Highlights for me were meeting with educators from other places-diversity, the program’s focus of history, the use of journaling and modeling approaches that we can use with our students.”

“I appreciated the thoughtfully organized immersion experience in Savannah, opportunities to explore power and privilege in the context of service, and learning with and from other educators committed to social justice education.”

* Intinerary subject to change




“I learned how much I still have to learn, how much I continue to crave learning history that I was never taught, and how I begin to feel more whole as I experience this truth, this story.”