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Dickinson College

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Program Name

Brazil: Social Innovation and Community Development

Abstract

One of Brazil’s most pressing issues is unequitable land distribution and agrarian land reform. Movimento Sem Terra (MST) is at the forefront of this struggle and has redistributed land to approximately 1,250 families so far. As well as access and right to land ownership, MST addresses issues from youth development, to education, to ecology and more with the mission to create a more just and inclusive Brazil by training its future leaders. This vision includes moving away from the capitalist system that currently enables hierarchies of power to control Brazil at the expense of many of its citizens and natural resources. The way in which MST forms its youth to understand and respect the land on which they live and work, as well as fight for their right to exercise their citizenship, is moving to me. I spent three and a half weeks at the Lagoa do Mineiro settlement in Itarema, Ceará to conviver with MST members and residents of the settlement. I learned from their meanings of well-being, justice, and environmental consciousness in order to look inward on myself and expand my ideas of these same things. In order to change the exploitative systems we live in, we must first change them within ourselves. This monograph is reflective of the questions that arose within me during my three week stay at the MST settlement Lagoa do Mineiro in Itarema, CE and of the unpacking of those questions.

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Uma das questões mais prementes do Brasil é a distribuição de terras e a reforma agrária. O Movimento Sem Terra (MST) está na vanguarda desta luta e redistribiu a terra para aproximadamente 1.250 famílias até agora. Além do acesso e direito à propriedade da terra, o MST aborda questões do desenvolvimento juvenil, educação, ecologia. Tem a missão de criar um Brasil melhor e está treinando seus futuros líderes. Essa visão inclui o afastamento do sistema capitalista que permite que as hierarquias do poder controlem o Brasil à custa de muitos de seus cidadãos e recursos naturais. A maneira pela qual o MST forma sua juventude para entender e respeitar a terra, além de lutar por seu direito de exercer sua cidadania, é emocionante para mim. Eu passei três semanas no assentamento de Lagoa do Mineiro em Itarema, Ceará convivendo com membros do MST para aprender seus significados de bem-estar, justiça e consciência ambiental. Eu pude olhar para dentro de mim e expandir minhas idéias sobre as mesmas coisas. Para mudar os sistemas de exploração em que vivemos, devemos primeiro mudá-los dentro de nós mesmos. Esta monografia reflete as questões que surgiram dentro de mim durante a minha estadia de três semanas e a descompactação dessas questões.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Latin American Studies | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Politics and Social Change | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social Work

 

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