Title

UNDERSTANDING PERCEPTIONS OF IDENTITY AND STRATEGIES OF EMPOWERMENT WITH ADOLESCENT AFRO-BRAZILIAN GIRLS

Home Institution

University of Denver

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Brazil: Public Health, Race, and Human Rights

Abstract

Afro-Brazilian women in Brazil face an immense amount of adversity. This specific demographic confronts discrimination in the workplace, lower wages, and occupational inequality. Multiple studies have proven that women of color in Brazil are in the most difficult and vulnerable position to find success. Though this demographic has seen improvements in their societal standing, the gap between their white male counterparts has persisted, and in some cases increased.

Because of this adversity, it is vitally important to instill a sense of empowerment and confidence within Afro-Brazilian female youth. It is never too early to begin this process, and this is the central focus of Bahia Street. This NGO has achieved a great deal with empowering young Afro-Brazilian women in the urban environment of Salvador.

For my project, I spent a month with the young women at Bahia Street. I taught math and English, observed the perceptions of racial identities, and learned about the process of empowering young women. I discovered that the students at Bahia Street perceive European phenotypes to be more beautiful than Afro-Brazilian phenotypes and that empowerment is achieved through both healthy competition and body expression.

Disciplines

Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | Educational Sociology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Latin American Studies | Race and Ethnicity

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