Note from BW of Brazil: Barack Obama has been out of the White House for more than eight months now, but even so, his name continues to make headlines within Brazil’s black community. Just a few weeks ago, we learned that three Brazilians were among 100 most influential blacks in the world and that they would be among a select group that would dine with Barack Obama in NYC on September 26th. Those three Afro-Brazilians were actors Lázaro Ramos, wife Taís Araújo and cultural entrepreneur Adriana Barbosa.
Now another black Brazilian is feeling the continuing influence of America’s first black president. I’ve already written on my sentiments on Obama, and with this particular story, I wonder what the intention of choosing a black woman representing Brazil’s quilombola communities and the promotion of tourism could mean given an apparent move to push these black people off of their lands. Hmmm….Congrats are in order to Thaís Rosa Pinheiro but I still got my eye open on this one.
Brazilian wins scholarship in Obama program with project that links tourism to quilombola communities
By Silvia Nascimento
“Today, Brazil has more than 5 thousand recognized quilombola communities, but few communities are titled. I believe that tourism also has the power to educate and especially to approach peoples and cultures.” This statement is from the turismologist Thais Rosa Pinheiro, 35, who was awarded an international scholarship from the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program, a program created by former US President Barack Obama.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, she has a Master’s degree in Social Memory (UNIRIO), is a specialist in Environmental Analysis and Land Management (ENCE) and specialist in Economics, Tourism and Cultural Management (UFRJ – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).
In the YLAI program, there were 4 thousand registered and 250 young people selected, representing 36 countries, leaders of various initiatives. In common, projects aimed at improving the quality of life of the planet and its residents. Thais will spend 5 weeks in courses and internships in companies. She travels on October 2 returning on November 9.
Thais enrolled in the program presenting her project “Conectando Territórios”(Connecting Territories) that seeks to bring people closer to Brazilian history, memory and cultural diversity from community-based tourism experiences in traditional communities such as quilombolas and urban communities.
“I take visitors to get to know the communities, I offer Afro-Brazilian dances courses, workshops on history, Afro-Brazilian culture and events that discuss territories and people,” explains the tourist who learned about the Exchange through Facebook.
For her, the approach of the tourists to the quilombola community, through Conectando Territórios, increases the knowledge of society on the importance of African culture as well as indigenous culture.
“Our work extends to the appreciation of Brazilian art, connected to African heritage, indigenous and traditional, strengthening the work of women artisans. And of connection with our history in the urban centers where we find Afro Brazilian culture for example. We believe in a world in which diversities are links of approach, and the contact with local residents contributes to this approach and breaking of barriers,” concludes the turismologist.
Source: Mundo Negro