Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

Meet Monique Evelle, A Woman Who’s Shaping Brazil For The Better

With the mission to “ensure alternative practices of human rights education and communication” and viewing to “become a reference in human rights education and communication with political influence, inspiring and empowering people,” “Desabafo Social” was created in 2011 by Monique Evelle just outside her school classes and and launched understanding, opportunities, and acceptance across Brazil since then.

While the group was created in Salvador, Bahia, it counts of social workers all over Brazil. I was lucky enough to meet Monique personally through common friends in 2014. After sitting down with her one afternoon, I knew I had been trapped in her work and ideals. While incredible work seems to be rather logical and obligatory, Monique takes her thought and research process seriously, going far off the conventional. I once again incredibly lucky to keep in touch and now consider her more than just another Facebook network contact. Through Affinity had the opportunity to sit down with Monique and discuss her inspirations, work, future and share it with the world.

What influenced you the most to participate in the activist scene in Brazil?

When I was 8 years old, my mother gifted me with a book called “For a Seed of Peace” that tells the story of a teacher that changed the reality of the school, the students, and her community. So I grew up wanting to be a teacher to transform, in any way possible, my surroundings.

What lead to the beginning of “Desabafo Social?”

Not only the story behind the book lead me to create “Desabafo Social,” but also the “no” I got from my high school principal. Se did not want me to start a student council to discuss human rights. That was enough to show that I really need to start something that talked about social issues, especially regarding race and gender.

Today, which accomplishment, personal or part of “Desabafo,” what are you most proud of?

I’m so proud to see that people, like me, transform a personal dream into a collective dream. I get a lot of stories from children or even seniors saying that they started a project after a “Desabafo” workshop or something that I said. There nothing more gratifying!

What’s the greatest flaw of the Brazilian people that keeps social acceptance from existing in Brazil as a whole?

Brazilian racism was constructed strategically. It was created so that we could believe we are all miscegenated, that being why racism doesn’t exist. There’s also issues such as homophobia, sexism, etc. While we are enclosed within our boxes of privilege, it becomes harder for us to mae and see any sort of structural change in Brazilian society.

What’s the next step for “Desabafo?”

Next year we will be launching a platform for Long Distance Education, English courses for young, black people living in poverty and creative projects with a cycle of workshops about creative economy and new medias.

Make sure to access their official website for all things “Desabafo!”


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