Silvana Veríssimo of the Nzinga Mbandi Institute, will receive award given by the organization Celine Cruz Black Latin Afro Diáspora Institute, headquartered in New York for her role in the fight against racism.
It is the first time a Brazilian will win this award.
Her history of activism intersects with immense challenges, but that doesn’t get her down. As she said in an interview on the night of Saturday, June 22nd, after learning of the award, which came as a surprise “The challenges do not give me and never cause me fear, to the contrary, I need to be more aware of the increasing necessity to be strong to overcome them.”
The only daughter of a homemaker and a building technician, from the interior of São Paulo state, also began her activism in preadolescence, as she comes from a family of black militants, and was already accustomed to attending meetings about the race issue.
Involved in the Movimento Negro for more than 25 years, no easy task in a country like Brazil where ethnic-racial inequalities reach absurd levels, causing various problems such as extermination of black youth, high number of maternal deaths of young black women by lack of adequate medical care, among many other setbacks suffered by the black population, aggravating factors of blatant institutional racism, which still persists on Brazilian soil.
According to Rosemary Cruz, director of the Institute responsible for the award, the nomination Silvana Veríssimo was given by two students of the Institute, Helison Drauye and Meredith Jonsh, that between the years 2009 to 2012 were in Brazil studying black communities, where they met her at a black women’s seminar, and have since begun to participate in most activities organized by her.
They were impressed with her mobilization ability, dialogue and cooperation with all other movements and organizations, her belief in social transformation, determination, appreciation of human beings and principally, her simplicity.
The Celine Cruz Black Latin Afro Diaspora Institute Award is given the people of Latin America and the Caribbean that stand out in the fight against racial discrimination.
The awards ceremony will be held in July, in New York City. Besides Silvana Veríssimo, other winners include Maria Santigo of Colombia, Layla Montserrat of Peru, Adelita Gonzalez of Venezuela and Avelar Cruz Rosada of Guatemala.
Source: CEN Brasil