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Luana M. Graves Sellars  

Community Activist & Cultural Influencer

A native-born New Yorker, Luana Graves Sellars, moved to Florida, and discovered that she was really ""a mis-placed Floridian,"" and knew that snow and nor’easter’s were not meant for her. At Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, she earned a degree in Journalism with a dual minor in Business and Black History. This was the beginning of what she calls her ""potpourri career"" that included working in advertising as a national media buyer, a sought after conference speaker on urban radio advertising, as well as a promoter and artist manager in the music industry. In addition she served as a top account manager in radio sales. Most recently, she was the owner and administrative director of two large capacity pre-schools in Florida. A divorced mother of two daughters, Sellars has travelled the world extensively, yet from childhood she has been drawn to Hilton Head, a place she considers her spiritual home.

Even with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Black History from Southern Illinois University, Luana M. Graves Sellars was not prepared to live on Hilton Head Island, one of the most culturally rich and historic areas of the South. A random encounter enabled Sellars to return to her roots as a writer, enabling her to become a contributing writer for Local Life Magazine and Hilton Head Monthly and Bluffton Monthly magazines. Since she began her Lowcountry Gullah writing in 2015, her focus has been on Gullah culture, history, people and native island issues. Through her website, www.lowcountrygullah.com, she has researched, documented and published cultural legacies through hundreds of articles in an effort to preserve the culture. In 2021, she broadened her audience by expanding into visual media, and wrote, produced, directed and voiced several video shorts and cultural documentaries.

A self-described community activist and cultural influencer, Sellars spends most of her days working towards ""residential equality"" for Hilton Head Island's local Gullah community as one of the Native Island Leaders and a frequent speaker on sustaining Gullah culture. In 2019, she founded the Lowcountry Gullah Foundation, a nonprofit that raises funds to protect and preserve historic Gullah land for future generations.

Speech Topics


  • Black History
  • Gullah Geechee History
  • Traditions and Culture
  • African American History
  • African American Genealogy

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