Shirley “Peaches” Peterson:
This Talk focuses on freedom, independence, and Mitchelville. Mitchelville was home to the nation’s first freedman’s community in 1863, the site of the first self-governed town of freed Africans in the country.
On November 7, 1861, Union forces attacked two Confederate forts and the Sea Islands of South Carolina near Port Royal.
“The Battle of Port Royal” later drove the Confederate forces to retreat to the mainland. One island, Hilton Head Island, immediately became the headquarters for the Union Army. It also would become the setting for the first self-governed town of freed Africans in the country. This Talk tells that story, and what we have learned from history.
Shirley “Peaches” Peterson is Chair of the Mitchelville Preservation Project, serves as Vice Chair for the Coastal Discovery Museum, and sits on the Women in Philanthropy advisory board. Active in the local community, Peaches’ work with the The Mitchelville Preservation Project is focused on restoring Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park. Mitchelville was home to the nation’s first freedman’s community in 1863, and the goal is to construct replica structures and offer learning opportunities to the public through lectures, exhibits, tours and special events.
Prior to coming to Hilton Head Island, Peaches spent many years in Bentonville, Ark., where she supported the local community as scholarship director for Bentonville High School, served as sponsor of their Black Student Union, served as president of the Rogers-Bentonville Junior Auxiliary, was a founding board member of the Northwest Arkansas Graduate Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and served on the boards of the Benton County Women’s Shelter, the Single Parent Scholarship Fund, Ozark Counseling, Saving Grace Ministries, Mid-America Art Alliance, and Walton Arts Center. Peaches has been an adjunct professor at Webster University and Maryville University, both in St. Louis.
She’s held human resource training and consulting roles with Prudential Insurance, Maritz Motivation Company and McDonnell Douglas Missile Systems (Boeing Company). Peaches Peterson– Chair, Mitchelville Preservation Project; Vice Chair, Coastal Discovery Museum; Women in Philanthropy Advisory Board This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx