Queen Quet: Partnering to protect her community

Queen Quet and Dan Rizza _ landscape reverse

“Climate Central’s maps and visuals of rising seas had an indelible impact on me. They’re easy to use, and better than other tools I’ve seen.” — Queen Quet

Queen Quet Marquetta L. Goodwine loves her people. Her dedication to the well-being of the Gullah/Geechee Nation is selfless, fierce, and unapologetic. So when she found out how Climate Central could help her community prepare for the impact of rising sea levels, she was eager to partner. 

Queen Quet is a computer scientist, author, historian, preservationist, and environmental justice advocate. Since 2000, she has served as the elected leader, Chieftess and official spokesperson of the Gullah/Geechee Nation—made up of an estimated 1 million descendants of enslaved Africans who inhabit the Sea Islands and coastal areas of the southeastern U.S., stretching from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida and some 35 miles inland. For centuries, the Gullah/Geechee people have strived to protect their history, culture, and language—as well as the lands, fisheries, and salt marshes that remain an intrinsic part of their identity. 

Since 2013, Queen Quet has collaborated with Climate Central to promote the knowledge and resources necessary to help the Gullah/Geechee sustain the community’s coastline and livelihood. At multiple free training workshops, many members of the community have become familiar with the wealth of information available in Climate Central’s Risk Finder web tool—to help them better understand the impacts of sea level rise on their coastal communities. 

In 2021, Climate Central co-presented a certification training workshop with Queen Quet, for citizens of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, in which 10 community members received a certification. As she had done many times before, Queen Quet herself co-hosted this workshop, working closely with Dan Rizza, manager for Climate Central’s Program on Sea Level Rise, who serves on the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank. Queen Quet believes in hosting “train the trainer” activities because her community has an “each one teach one” principle that they live by.

“I really love working with Climate Central,” says Queen Quet. “I expect our partnership to continue for many years to come. Climate Central’s tools are assisting us with reaching and staying on higher ground.”