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Culture, Celebration, and Community Consciousness

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Professor Stephanie Y. Mitchem

Author, Professor

Stephanie Y. Mitchem is currently Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of South Carolina, but she is not limited by that role. Mitchem understands teaching and learning as r/evolutionary acts and engages all of us in the radical art of thinking. Her scholarly exploration include but are not limited to: the religious and social lives of African Americans and Africans in the Diaspora; Black women, leadership, and justice; and issues of human rights. Her books include Introducing Womanist Theology (Orbis Books), African American Folk Healing (NYU Press) and most recently, Race, Religion and Politics: Towards Human Rights in the US (Rowman and Littlefield 2019). She is currently working on Religions of the African Diaspora, an Introduction.


Jamal Toure


Amir Jamal Toure, J.D., declared as the "People's Historian", and the "Son of the Weeping
Time", is the son of Claude Lee, Jr. (deceased) and Evelyn M. Lee, is a native of Savannah and Hilton Head Island. His families have been in the Lowcountry of Georgia and South Carolina since at least 1814 and established family compounds in the late 1800s.
He is a graduate of Savannah State University with dual degrees, Cum Laude, and the Walter F.
George School of Law at Mercer University. Touré is called the "One Man NAACP". He is the resident scholar for Geechee Kunda, Cultural Center and Museum in Riceboro, Ga., and is known as a Djeli (pronounced "JAY LAY" - cultural historian) who shares the history of African people at home and in the diaspora, in particular. He has performed internationally in sharing the history of culture of African people.




We, as a society, are connected to history not just in formal written passage, but through the more personal acts of storytelling. Storytelling is a unique way in which history is revealed to us in an unscripted format. The story is told repeatedly and delivered from one generation to the next with sacred regards. The stories do not become diluted over time, but richer, as previous characters are weaved into the
history of this narrative. It is in this legacy passed down by his great-grandpa Steve who was a slave that lived to be 114 years old.  This demonstrates Bruce Ingram's passion for storytelling, he tells the stories told many moons ago, were added to the records of historical accounts that are worth preserving.


Patt Gunn

Tour Guide, Griot (storyteller)

Mama Gunn is the Dawta' of Susie Golden Gilliard, the Granddawta' of Ada Shellman Golden and the Great-Great Granddawta' of a Freed Slave, Princess Shellman from McIntosh County, Georgia. Her 'soulcraft' is 'truth-telling'. She tells Master Gullah' Geechee stories of the African American journey from slavery to freedom. She is the CEO of Underground Tours of Sav'h, LLC., and Co-Owner of the Savannah Gallery on Slavery and Healing, Inc.  Additionally, She is the President of a  non-profit social justice organization, The Center for Jubilee, Reconciliation and Healing, Inc. in Savannah, Georgia. In 1999, She produced a Gullah' Geechee' folk artist group, 'The Saltwata Players'. The group's musical genre are Negro Spirituals and Civil Rights freedom songs. The Players have performed at schools, universities, museums and festivals throughout the Southeast. In 2015, the group had the honor of performing at The White House and on the grounds of the Lincoln Monument.If you asked her what my 21st century philosophy is today, she would simply say,”'Always try to  bring value to any circumstance - never take value away.”


DR. JF Clay

Tai Qi Instructor

Dr.  Clay, has been a Black Community Activist for over 30 years.  Dr. Clay has had great leaders to grace and anoint his life scholastically, constituently as well as, being mentored. Dr JF Clay, holds an Associate in Art, along with a degree in General Education from Lincoln Land Community College; a Doctoral from Lincoln Institute/Gaia College;  he is a graduate of Lanphier High School, Springfield, IL;  heis President and Chair of the School of the Apostle and Prophets; President and Chair of Yahshua’s Advanced Home School Center; he is CEO and Senior Pastor of Praise Tabernacle Ministries; he is an experienced and well-seasoned Counselor; and served as a Certified Chemical Dependency Technician. Dr. Clay, is also a radio personality and well sought after motivational speaker.


Aja Embry

Community Grower, Herbalist, Artist

Aja Embry, a native of Decatur, GA. Aja decided to grow a garden for an ancestor; that's when she fell in love with earth work. It's been about 15 years since that time, and her work has expanded to include a long history of community service and retail. She has been running local farmers markets in Atlanta for the past 5 years. Her passion quickly turned to a desire to educate youth. After seeing the disconnect between what farmers do in fields, versus what the general public understands about that work and the food they grow for us to eat. It became important for her to create her business SoCame Grows, to not only tell stories through hands-on experiences of our food, but also the ways we eat it. Outreach and the love of land brought her to Savannah where she now dwells. Aja is excited to sow seeds into this community and to support the amazing people who consider us all even when we don't consider them. The growers and keepers of the land and our ancient ways, so much love.

Chef BJ Dennis


Gullah Chef

Prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable culinary experience as Chef BJ Dennis, hailing from the rich culinary traditions of South Carolina, joins the Black Moses Freedom Festival for an evening of Dinner and Dialog. Renowned for his expertise in Gullah-Geechee cuisine and commitment to preserving African culinary heritage, Chef BJ Dennis invites you on a journey of flavors and stories that honor the spirit of resilience and liberation. Indulge in a sumptuous feast crafted with locally sourced ingredients, infused with the soulful essence of the Lowcountry. As you savor each bite, engage in meaningful conversations about the intersections of food, culture, and freedom. Join us for an evening that nourishes both body and mind, as Chef BJ Dennis brings his passion for food and heritage to the table at the Black Moses Freedom Festival's Dinner and Dialog event. Reserve your seat today and be part of this unforgettable culinary celebration!


Dr. Cle'a McBride Etheridge

Healer, Massage Therapist,

Dr. Cle’a Etheridge owner of Tranquility Touch, a Massage
Therapy and Wellness Spa located in Jonesboro, GA.  Dr. E as she is affectionately known, has been an active member of the Natural Healthcare and Wellness community for over eighteen years. A progress-driven therapist and clinician thriving to help educate others about alternate healing. Her most recent accomplishments includes a 2020 Doctoral degree from Higher Place Christian University. A certification in Qi Gong, a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, meditation, and mind body healing and many other medical certificates. Qi Gong is a practice to balance Qi (chi) the energy of life. A 2015 graduate from Leadership Clayton, a highly acclaimed leadership class that teaches a higher level of leadership in the community.

Speakers & Performers: Sponsors
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