Home Institution

Occidental College

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Program Name

Brazil: Culture, Development, and Social Justice


I spent approximately one month researching the relation of Projecto Promotoras Legais Populares (PPLP) with its Subjects, Promotoras Legais Populares (PLP). It is a course aimed to foster political growth amongst marginalize groups in society through the exploration of their Rights. I explored the methodology used by PPLP in order to address the local needs of its Subjects --mainly black women with a poor/working-class background. How did this methodology facilitate the creation of a political space where they can voice these needs? I then looked at how this spread of legal knowledge has impacted Brazil’s most marginalized people in minimizing common exploitation? I participated in a part of the course and shared the day-to-day activities of the PLPs. Through my role as a participant and observer, I was able to obtain a holistic understanding in response to my questions going into the field. PPLP employs Paulo Freire’s teaching pedagogy throughout its methodology. For its Subjects, it is a way of life, not a legal course. Therefore the law is translated into a common language by placing the experiences of its Subjects into the context of human rights. They are then able to locate the direct violation of their Rights. However, they do interpret this oppressive history and reality as fatalistic. Rather, they employ civil society to say that enough is enough! They may have to overcome multi-layers of discrimination to access the justice system. Nonetheless, they are accessing it, and coming out on top, while bringing their friends, families, neighbors and the rest of societies base with them. In turn they are successfully redistributing the balance of power, and realizing a genuine form of social justice, where no one is left behind.


Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change


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