Cornelia Walker Bailey

Illustration by Abigail West

Cornelia Walker Bailey was an inspiring storyteller and politically engaged resident of Sapelo Island’s Hogg Hummock community who fought for the cultural survival of one of the most intact remaining Gullah-Geechee communities in the United States. She passed away on October 15, 2017.

Working in a model of community-based social science, The University of Georgia’s Cornelia Walker Bailey Program on Land and Agriculture seeks to address important questions on the history, present status, and future of agriculture, property politics and related issues on Sapelo Island.

The program works to facilitate meaningful partnerships among UGA faculty and students, the staff of the State of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources, the staff of the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, and residents of the Hogg Hummock community.  The Program most closely partners with Save Our Legacy Ourself (SOLO) based on Sapelo Island but also the Athens-based oyster shell recycling organization Shell to Shore.

Cornelia Walker Bailey ProgramThe Cornelia Walker Bailey Program is co-directed by Nik Heynen and Maurice Bailey and was founded to honor Ms. Bailey’s legacy.

Current Advisory Committee members include Francine Bailey, Jermaine “JJ” Wilson, Dean Hardy, Rinne Allen, Jennifer Jo Thompson and Josiah ‘Jazz’ Watts.

The program complements the UGA Marine Institute’s broader educational mission of facilitating unique experiences of immersion, providing strong mentorship from UGA faculty and community leaders, and encouraging students to engage with real-world problems through UGAMI’s Geography of the Georgia Coast Domestic Field Study course and other opportunities, including internships and on-island student volunteer projects.

Donate: If you are interested in supporting the Cornelia Walker Bailey Program, please contact Nik Heynen for information on how to make a donation or donate directly here.

Please consider helping to financially support our efforts