Seminar Education and Racial Equity
Racism and its perversity in the Brazilian educational system was the subject discussed in the seminar “Education and Racial Equity”, carried out by the Instituto do Negro de Alagoas (INEG / AL) in partnership with the State Department of Education. The seminar held by INEG / AL was part of a series of activities developed by the Institute in the project “Black Protagonism: conflicts in the school routine”, which was put into practice throughout the year 2017 at the State School Deputy Rubens Canuto , located in the Benedito Bentes neighborhood. The seminar that took place on December 7, 2017 at CENFOR / CEPA had as panelists Dr. Edson Kayapó, Dr. Cristiane Sobral, Ms Lepê Correa and Márcia Susana G. Lima.
The event began with the award of the contest “black personalities of the State of Alagoas”. Next, the lectures “Differentiated indigenous school education: subverting the colonizing school” and “Literature as a path in ethnic racial education and equity” were given by Professor Dr. Edson Kayapó and Professor Dr. Cristiane Sobral, respectively. Soon after, there was a debate and later the launch of the book “The Flying Carpet”, by Professor Cristiane.
The second moment of the event included not only the presence of Professor Lepê Correa, who gave the lecture “Contemporary School and Ethnic Issues”, as well as Professor Márcia Susana G. Lima, who lectured “The curriculum in the process of ethnic identity formation in early childhood education”. It is worth highlighting the participation of secondary students and managers of basic education and the importance of spaces such as this, which enable this exchange of knowledge, so that each day we can elaborate new and successful strategies of positive construction of the Alagoan black population and its achievements .
UFAL Graduate Programs Quotas Commission Move Foward on the Debate!
On November 17, 2017, the UFAL Graduate Quotas Commission met with a group of coordinators from some of the institution’s graduate programs. During the meeting, several aspects were discussed, highlighting two issues in particular: the classification’s grade and the debate concerning scholarships.
From the beginning of the discussions, the member of Pro-Rectory of Graduate Studies and Research, Dr. Helson Sobrinho, made it clear to the graduate programmes coordinators that the proposal for a lower classification grade to be awarded to quota holders was a necessary factor in the nature of the Commission proposal, since the core of the debate is centered on the recognition of socio-economic trajectories differentiated between the segments that compose the brazilian population. This perspective was reinforced by Dr. Frederico Costa, professor of the Postgraduate Program in Psychology (PPGP), who problematized the notion of merit present in the academic environment and in the set of brazilian social relations as a whole, which was also defended by Dr. Cláudia Mura, representative of the Postgraduate Program in Social Anthropology. Thus, most of the coordinators ratified the proposition that the classification grade among the quota holders should be twenty percent lower than the classification grade of non-quota holders.
Then, came into discussion a proposal that the University should respect the possibility of the programs to constitute their own models of inclusion. Nevertheless, it was reiterated that UFAL would need to have an institutional proposal covering all Programs, not preventing them from creating aditional forms of inclusion, which was defended by INEG / AL.
Regarding scholarships, at first, some coordinators argued that the proposal must be in line with what is defined by research funding agencies, such as CAPES, CNPq and FAPEAL. However, Dr. Marcos Mesquita, professor of the Institute of Psychology, pointed out that, despite this, the Programs have the autonomy to create their own criteria for distribution of grants.
Also during the discussion, some coordinators of professional master’s programs emphasized the need for dialogue with the national networks that coordinate them, in the sense that they can be adapted to the one proposed by the Commission, which was reiterated by the coordinator of the Afro-Brazilian Studies Group (NEAB / UFAL), Dr. Lígia Ferreira.
Now, the next step is to present the proposal to the Academic Chamber and, later, once it is approved, to the University Council.
INEG/AL will participate in the First National Meeting of Black Advocacy in Brazil.
Between 27 and 30 November 2017, in São Paulo, the First National Meeting of Black Advocacy in Brazil will take place. The Meeting will take place within the XXIII National Conference of Brazilian Lawyers. Among the themes to be addressed, we highlight the following:
Paths to Effectiveness of Reparation of Slavery: Justice, Equality, Memory and Indemnities;
Meeting of the State Commissions on the Truth of Black Slavery and Presentation of Reports;
Quotas, Slavery Repair and the Role of Advocacy.
As you can see, the debate on reparatory policies will be at the heart of the meeting’s concerns. Within this context, it is pivotal that black advocacy should constitute instruments, mechanisms and networks that allow not only maintenance, but also and especially the expansion of rights and their effective materialization in the real life of the Afro-Brazilian population.
The debate regarding the Commission on the Truth of Black Slavery in Brazil necessarily refers us to the accountability of the families that enslaved human beings in colonial Brazil. In this way, the State is not the only instance for which the black population should address its claims. In the state of Alagoas in particular, we can exemplify as families that submitted thousands of people to the slave system, the Calheiros family and the Palmeira family, as the local historiography remind us. These and other Alagoan families have the duty to financially repair the population, among other forms, through the creation of a repair fund which would support the execution of public policies for the socio-economic promotion of the Alagoas black population.
The policy of racial quotas has been threatened in its task of insertion of blacks and indigenous people in Brazilian higher education, inasmuch as fraud in self-declaration has increased in selective processes throughout the country, which calls us the responsibility for the improvement of this policy through the creation of more effective mechanisms to promote these segments.
These and other challenges are up to black advocacy in Brazil and Alagoas in particular. In the state of Alagoas, Instituto do Negro de Alagoas has been concerned with the training of legal operators committed to defending and promoting rights for the black population. In this way, the Institute has dialogued with law students, as well as with lawyers, aiming to compose a qualified body of lawyers to intervene in the most varied instances of alagoan society.
Aiming to continue the qualification of such a body of lawyers in the state of Alagoas, INEG / AL will participate in the First National Meeting of Black Advocacy in Brazil through a law student, Moniky Rocha, who will attend the Meeting .
Climbing the Serra da Barriga!
As part of the activities carried out in the Black Protagonism project we visited Serra da Barriga with the articulating students of the State School Deputado Rubens Canuto. Throughout the course of visitation, it was possible to establish a dialogue with students addressing aspects of our history, with emphasis on manifestations of resistance carried out by the black population enslaved during the colonial period.
Besides the debate concerning the various forms of resistance of the enslaved negro, which were not restricted to the constitution of Quilombos, it was also possible, through observation of the architectural constructions present in the Serra, to give importance to the indigenous presence on it, portrayed in the dwellings with a native aspect, which allows us to give attention to the multi-ethnic and pluricultural character.
In the place reserved for the ashes of the brazilian black leader, Abdias do Nascimento, the student Milena Barbosa, student of the 3rd grade B, could explain a little bit of the activist’s life, achievements and importance, highlighting his performance as a parliamentarian, writer and dramatist.
Within the activities foreseen in the Project will also be held a seminar on the challenges to racial equity in education, to be given at the end of October.
“Quilombo in the School: Round of Conversation on Youth, Culture and Resistance”
Between August 7th and 15th, another edition of the traditional event, called Festa do Meado de Agosto (Midle of August Feast) took place in the rural black community of Poço do Lunga, located in the municipality of Taquarana / AL. The municipality also has three more rural black communities: community of Mameluco, Paso do Vigário and Lagoa do Coxo. The event came amid a set of political threats to the rights of the remaining communities of quilombos from all over the country, as the Partido Democratas (formerly PFL) once again filed suit in 2004 against the Decree regulating procedures for the quilombola lands ownership. Due to requests from the STF ministers, the trial has been postponed. To discuss this and other issues, the event counted on the accomplishment of some round of conversatons, which were characterized by the diversity in approach and plurality of perspectives, evident in one of the conversation wheels that counted on the facilitation of the militant of Hip Hop, Alyne Sakura; one member of the Alagoana Identity group, Ticiane Simões; another member of the group Anajô, Jorge Filho, besides members of other organizations. The Instituto do Negro de Alagoas also participated in this activity, establishing a dialogue with the students of the Santos Ferraz State School on the need to organize the black population, as well as on the duty of the State and the descendants of the families that enslaved our ancestors in the development of public policies for the socioeconomic promotion of our population.
Alyne Sakura developed a scenic performance emphasizing the abusive relationships, in which woman is victim of psychological and even physical violence. In order to show this sort of violence, the member of the Alagoan Hip Hop movement represented the murder of women through firearms, a very present phenomenon in our country.
Ticiane Simões, on the other hand, also through scenic performance, established a dialogue with the present public, alluding to the typical characteristic of the behavior of ordinary citizens, who generally do not care about the problem of the other, although this same problem is up to society as a whole.
Jorge Filho made some considerations on the politics of racial quotas and on aspects related to Christianity and the Negro issue.
The Levante Popular da Juventude member stressed the need to unify the struggles of the countryside and the city for the construction of a more just society.
In addition to the participation of the School’s students, the event also had the contribution of the Hip Hop movement members from the municipality of Palmeira dos Índios.
Articulating Peripheral Arts: from invisibility to protagonism.
The cultural opulence present in the district of Benedito Bentes and surrounding areas is something that can be easily verified. Aiming to articulate a variety of cultural and artistic activities, in a peripheral district of Maceió / Alagoas, seeking yet the construction of self-managing mechanisms, the INEG / AL will start the project Articulating Peripheral Arts: from invisibility to protagonism. The oppressed theater, Afro dance, capoeira and elements of Hip Hop, are practices of strong presence in the Maceió’s peripheries, however, they are not potentiated in the same proportion that they are beneficial to the cognitive and social development of young people and adolescents of the peripheries. The articulation of these social and cultural practices has as main objective to build an organization as a cooperative of artists. This cooperative will provide conditions to develop the various arts mentioned above within the peripheral communities of the Benedito Bentes Complex, enabling the production of shows and also the development of local artistic entrepreneurship among young people and adolescents living in the region.
Through the cooperative of artists we will build a specific repertoire, that is, we will focus on the artistic training of young people and adolescents, but also produce and sell shows as a result of their work as young artists. As already mentioned, there is a significant amount of artistic practices in this neighborhood, however the dimensions of production and exposure are extremely precarious. We hope with this project to develop the culture in this neighborhood, enabling, from a cooperative organization, the sustainable development of the arts practiced by local artists. The main activities that we intend to develop in this initiative will be artistic workshops (training of artists), production courses (lighting, sound, digital technologies applied to artistic production), artistic cooperativism and artistic entrepreneurship. The beneficiaries of this project will be 50 young adolescents living in the neighborhood. The project will last one year.
It is important to create alternatives for young people and adolescents living in the Complexo Benedito Bentes, with cultural and artistic manifestations as a possibility for dialogue and social development in the first instance beyond the professional aspect. The artists who are developing their activities in the Complexo Benedito Bentes have no financial aid from the State, and carry out their activities in a precarious way, nevertheless, they manage to reach a significant amount of young people and adolescents with their activities.These social actors are developing their activities individually in the Benedito Bentes Complexo. In this way, the main objective of the project is to enhance the activities of these professionals and develop them in order to reach young people and adolescents and promote perspective of production of shows through an artists’ cooperative. An initiative like this has a direct impact on the perspective of young people and adolescents who are involved with some cultural manifestation in the neighborhood.
To accomplish all those activities described above, which will take place from september 2017, the Instituto do Negro de Alagoas will have the technical and financial support of the Instituto Nordeste Cidadania.
“Education: a way to finish racism”
In order to mobilize the high school students of the State School Deputy Rubens Canuto around the racial theme, a writing competition was held at the end of June with the theme “Education: a way to finish racism”. The event was attended by 150 students. A total of six were selected, four women and two men. The students will be articulators of the Black Protagonism project: clashes in the school routine, in addition to participating in other training activities proposed by INEG / AL. In the selection of these students, besides the preparation of the essay, a series of interviews was also carried out. Thirty in total. We realized the need to increase the number of students who were initially expected to total a maximum of three students. This need was based on the quality and potential of the students during the interviews.
During the interviews, Victor Patrick, a student of the 2nd grade, told us some events of his trajectory, highlighting what happened on a given day, where in a police approach he was the only one searched by the police, among his friends. On the other hand, Milena and Jessica, students of the 3rd grade, mentioned the various prejudicial jokes – many of them being among their school friends – that for the most part went unnoticed but deserved to be banned. At another time, Jessica commented on how much racism is present even within black families, where those with darker pigmentation end up being the most “persecuted” within domestic problems. Samya, a student of the 1st grade, mentioned the racism she has been a victim of, especially with regard to her hair, wich undergone into a chemichal process in order to get it straight. She also made reference to the same process, this time experienced by her younger sister. Milena also made reference to how difficult, in her view, is to end racism but acknowledged that we have no other way but to make people aware of the struggle of the black people.
The selected students were: Victor Patrick (2nd grade A), Billy Pool (2nd grade D), Milena Barbosa (3rd grade B), Samya Beatriz (1st grade C), Mirian Conceição grade B) and Jéssica Araujo (3rd grade B). All of them will receive financial support for the full development of the activities as articulators.
Instituto do Negro de Alagoas is grateful to all those who participated in this contest, at the same time inviting everyone to become involved in the Project activities throughout the year, until December. Congratulations to the selected students!
Environmental Technologies Masters’s Application (IFAL) Will Be Composed by Racial Quotas and Verification Commission
In order to promote gender and race issues within the Federal Institute of Alagoas (IFAL), the Gender and Race Commission was created to develope some initiatives within and outside the Federal Institute of Alagoas (IFAL), not only to promote respect for diversity among its employees, but also to think about and elaborate proposals for public policies to promote historically discriminated segments, such as the black and indigenous population. Among these policies, the national scenario has highlighted the adoption of racial quotas in the selective processes of postgraduate courses, which is already an advance concerning the already established system of quotas for undergraduate courses in public higher education institutions . Despite the legitimacy and seriousness of such a policy, it has been the target of a series of frauds by individuals who, in a very recurrent way, have been criminally trying to circumvent the criteria defined by this policy in order to obtain a supposed success in your application to those courses. Such cases have been found in some Brazilian universities, such as the Federal University of Pelotas (RS), which had a total of twenty-seven students denounced in the Faculty of Medicine. Among Universities that have been the target of fraudulent self-declarations we can locate the Federal University of Uberlândia (MG), the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, among others.
In order to combat such attitudes within federal public tenders, the Secretariat for Personnel Management and Labor Relations in the Public Service issued normative guidance (003/2016), providing rules for verifying the veracity of self-declaration from black self-declared candidates. Although such legislation does not apply to racial quota systems in federal institutions of higher education, these institutions have taken initiatives to ensure the correct application of the policy. In this way, they have been creating commissions that aim to gauge the self-declaration of candidates who opt for the quota system in the selective processes.
The Federal Institute of Alagoas, through actions promoted by its Office of Research and Innovation, recently created its first Masters course, with major in Environmental Technologies. In its selection process, the system of racial quotas for black, indigenous and quilombola candidates was adopted, as well as the reserve of vacancies for the Institute’s employees. With regard to racial quotas, four vacancies will be awarded to the candidates mentioned above. In order to avoid possible fraud within the process, the institution has chosen to adhere to what has been nationally agreed, ie, the creation of a commission that will be responsible for assessing the possible self-declaration of potential quota holders. Instituto do Negro de Alagoas has become a partner in the implementation of this process, which will be developed by the IFAL Race and Gender Commission.
Students from the State School Dep. Rubens Canuto (AL) Debate About Racism Experienced in Daily Life
On the afternoon of June 13 of the current year, the project Black Protagonism o was presented to the high school students of the Rubens Canuto School. In order to instigate their participation, two small videos were shown. The first one, showed the testimonies of black youths reporting the common problems they face daily, such as routine police approaches and also stereotyped questions, which presuppose that blacks have this or that occupation, shown in the video by the speech of a young black girl who questioned the fact that a person had asked her about which samba school she would be affiliated with, instead of asking her which college course she attended. After that, another video was presented aimed Brazilian racial inequalities, evident in the proportion of access to higher education; in the composition of the prison population; in the consumption of consumer goods and social equipments, indispensable to the well-being of any population.
The students’ statements reaffirmed the facts presented in the videos insofar as they reported similar experiences lived by them in their life trajectories, whether inside or outside the school space, as confided to us by Robert, a student of the 3rd grade. The debate on inequalities in educational opportunities was highlighted, which would justify the need to adopt racial quotas in selective processes. Another subject raised by the students, refers to the aesthetic standards dictated by the brazilian media, especially those propagated by the soap opera. Such discussion gave rise to the talk about black self-esteem and the consequences of a negatively constructed identity. Another aspect addressed by the School Deputy Rubens Canuto’ students concerns how much colorism also ends up reproducing and reinforcing the racism that oppress them, which ends up undermining any possibility of organization to face such a structure.
The Project launch with students included the participation of Geysson Santos, a member of Cia Hip Hop, and Nêgo Love, an activist of the Alagoan hip hop movement. In addition to these, the members of the Rap UTP / Last Option group were also present. The School History teacher, Carlos Pereira, was also present organizing the activity and debating with the students. Beginning next Saturday will start the workshops defined in the Project, starting with the Capoeira workshop to be taught by teacher Denivan, who is also a member of the Alagoas Capoeira Federation.
The Project Black Protagonism: clashes in the school routine will last seven months, and will be completed in December 2017.
Dialogue with the Maceio Racial Equality Policies Department.
In reason to presenting some proposals of public policies for the black population of Maceió, the Instituto do Negro de Alagoas received in its headquarters, Mrs. Tereza Olegário, Maceió Racial Equality Policy Coordinator. She said is developing an effort to know the Black Movement Organizations in the capital, as well as the activities developed by them. Among the issues addressed by the coordinator was given due attention to the referrals for the creation of what will become the Municipal Council for the Promotion of Racial Equality, which would be responsible, among other things, for proposing policies of socioeconomic promotion of the local black population in the most varied municipality instances, since it has no such policy. We were also informed that this month there should be a meeting with the participation of local Black Movement Organizations, with the aim of thinking of an appropriate format for the said Council. In another moment, the coordinator mentioned the difficulty in obtaining data on the black population, which certainly occurs because the Municipal Government, among other things, do not have the existence of the color question in their documents and forms, which makes it difficult obtaining an adequate diagnosis.
In the set of issues raised by INEG / AL, the need to retake the debate concerning the Living Youth Plan was emphasized, which privileged, in its conception, a series of actions aimed at black youth that wasn’t put in practice, because of the public administration no interest in its execution. The Institute also emphasized the need of the Municipality to establish racial quotas in municipal public tenders, as a way of contributing to the access of the black population to the public career, as well as guaranteeing a greater representation of that segment in the municipal public service.
Furthermore, INEG / AL presented a proposal to create a scholarship grant program for black students of the municipal education network, which would act in a way to contribute to the decrease School dropout among black youth. This proposal is supported by the Law on the Guidelines and Bases of Education (LDB), which in its seventy article, sixth paragraph, alludes to this situation: VI – granting scholarships to students of public and private schools.
Black Protagonism Project: conflicts in the school daily life.
In order to tracing the first directions for the implementation of the Black Protagonism project: conflicts in the school daily life, on March 31, 2017, the first meeting of the Negro Institute of Alagoas was held with the State School Deputy Rubens Canuto’s principal and coordinator, respectively the ladies Vanúbia Oliveira and Veroneide Siqueira. The School’s principal, Mrs. Vanúbia Oliveira, expressed satisfaction at the fact that the School could be the location for such an initiative, which will join other projects already developed by the state educational institution. Among the issues discussed, the Project’s beginning was defined for the end of May, when the school will return from the vacation period.
It was also discussed the methodology to be used in the essay contest that will have the objective of selecting two students to act as articulators of the Project, inside the school. As an articulator we will also have the participation of History’s teacher of the School, Mr. Carlos Pereira, who, on the occasion of the meeting, reported on the effort he has made in the interior of the institution in order to guarantee the debate concerning the black population issues, not only through their classes, but also through the problematization of its Pedagogical Political Project. In this respect, it is also an activity of the Black Protagonism Project: conflicts in the daily school life, the analysis and discussion of the school’s Political Pedagogical Project, as well as its curricular matrices, aiming at its greater adequacy to what is established by Law 11.645 / 08. Still within this issue, the school’s management informed us of its Pedagogical Week – a privileged moment in the formation of the teaching staff – within which we defined a specific moment to deal with subjects related to the Project’s theme.
The Black Protagonism Project: conflicts in the daily life will comprise a series of activities targeted primarily at high school students. Among these, we can highlight thematic workshops based on the black cultural manifestations, talk wheels that will problematize the most varied aspects of the black people presence in Brazil and, particularly, in Alagoas. In addition to the aforementioned activities, it is part of this Project to carry out a training course in race relations to be taught to the teachers of this educational unit, aiming to guarantee a greater understanding of the historical scenario in which the process of marginalization and exclusion of the black population was established, in national and local scale.
The school environment is a privileged space for the deconstruction of racist practices in our society. Thus, in proposing a set of actions in the school context, Instituto do Negro de Alagoas, in partnership with the State School Deputado Rubens Canuto, contribute in an objective way with the formulation of anti-racist practices that promote the diversity present in our society at the same time promoting the debate about the condition of the Negro today.
Federal University of Alagoas Create a Commission to Implement Affirmative Actions on Graduate Studies Courses.
In order to guarantee the presence of the black and indigenous populations, besides the people with special needs, in the postgraduate courses of the Federal University of Alagoas, was formed in the middle of July 2016, a Commission with the aim of thinking and to construct a proposal of policy of access and permanence of those segments. The Commission is formed by the Center for Afro-Brazilian Studies (NEAB / UFAL), the Instituto do Negro de Alagoas (INEG / AL), the Pro-Rectorate for Research and Postgraduate Studies (PROPEP / UFAL), as well as professors and coordinators of postgraduate programs.
The first experience that incorporated the debate on the access of blacks and indigenous people to a postgraduate course at that University was developed by the Postgraduate Program in History (PPGH / UFAL), in the year 2015, and the proposal was approved in August of the previous year. In addition to contemplating the aforementioned segments, the program’s proposal also incorporated the debate on the empowerment of black leaders. In this way, it was reserved also vacancies for individuals committed to the struggle for the socioeconomic promotion of the black population in the country. Something done only by private institutions, which did not grant vacancies in postgraduate courses, but rather masters and doctorate scholarships for historically deprived segments.
With the initiative of the History Program, other programs also formulated proposals, like the Program in the area of Education and, more recently, that of Anthropology. These initiatives are in addition to those developed in the country, which forced the Ministry of Education to institute Regulatory Ordinance No. 13, dated May 11, 2016, which provides for the induction of Affirmative Actions in the Post-Graduation of Brazilian federal universities and gives other measures.
In addition to the preparation of an institutional proposal for the Federal University of Alagoas, the Pro Quotas Commission also noted the need to involve the Alagoas Foundation for Research Support (FAPEAL) in this debate, mainly on the guarantee of the quota holders attendance in their respective Programs, through the granting of scholarships.
Black Feminism and Affection
Continuing the lectures that took place throughout the year 2015, Instituto do Negro de Alagoas (INEG / AL), brought the Coordinator of the Black Women / UNB Study Group, Bruna Pereira, to Alagoas on November 27, 2015. The debate was productive and reflective. The proposed theme, “Black Feminism and Affection” was the initial opening for a variety of issues concerning black women in Brazil.
The speaker began her explanation by doing a conceptual reading of feminism in Brazil, and what differs the conditions of being a woman in a male chauvinist country and with an alarming rate of violence against women. In this context, Bruna clarified that there are current data from the latest research on violence in Brazil that points to a decrease in the mortality of women in the country. However, these data, if observed in a universal way, end up obscuring the particularities that exist in this population segment. Looking at these particularities, the data will point to the increase in violence against black women in Brazil. In this sense, Bruna stressed the need for black women to have their debates in a Black Feminist Movement, which discusses the particularities of black women.
Bruna’s analyzes covered several points that encompass the Brazilian black feminist debate, with a particular view on affectivity. In this context, the speaker addressed some ways blacks in Brazil deal with racism, such as relationships with white people. Relationships that have racial conflicts within the family, often causing physical and moral violence, end up affecting many women. While white women are in the affective setting of formal marriages, black women appear with informal relationships or as lovers, justifying perhaps the phrase “white to marry and black to fuck”.
Bruna also stressed the black feminist movement importance to understand that gender discussion needs to take into account that there is a black genocide that affects mainly young men. It shows in this sense that black feminism has an advanced debate regarding the black movement in its diversity of approaches.
The debates brought further clarification regarding black feminism and other issues of the black people in Brazil and Alagoas. Discussions such as these are pivotal to promote the Alagoas black women self-esteem, as well as bring this debate to the black Alagoan movements.