Photo by Will Warasila

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Emory Shaw Campbell

Emory Shaw Campbell is president of the Gullah Heritage Consulting Service, a Hilton Head Island–based firm. He manages the Gullah Heritage Trail Tours as well as offers lectures and courses related to Gullah Geechee culture.

Before his current position, he was the executive director of the Penn Center on St. Helena Island, SC, for twenty-two years. The center was established in 1862 as the first school for formerly enslaved citizens and is currently the leading repository of Gullah cultural heritage.

Campbell was the valedictorian of the Michael C. Riley High School Class of 1960. In 1965 he earned his undergraduate degree in biology at Savannah State College (now Savannah State University) and continued his studies in environmental engineering at Tufts University in Boston, MA, where he earned a Master of Science degree in 1971.

Campbell served as the first chairman of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Corridor Commission established by the U.S. Congress in 2006 to preserve Gullah Geechee cultural heritage. He has received numerous honors for his cultural and environmental preservation work including an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Bank Street College, New York City, and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort. He resides on Hilton Head Island in the neighborhood of his birth.

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