Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today

Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today
Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today
Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today

Note from BBT: Black Brazilians have been regularly featured on the Most Influential People of African Descent list for the past few years and 2020 is no different. In past years, we’ve seen a diverse pool of people that has included people like the husband/wife teams of actors Lázaro Ramos and Taís Araújo, Érico Brás and producer Kenia Maria, entrepreneur Paulo Rogério, architect Stephanie Ribeiro, and entrepreneur Adriana Barbosa. In 2017 edition of the ceremony, three Brazilians made the list, while in 2018, there were eleven. This year, as in years past, there is an impressive list of Afro-Brazilians being recognized for their achievements. Many of these people have been featured here at Black Brazil Today (formerly Black Women of Brazil). According to the MIPAD website, the list “identifies high achievers of African descent in public and private sectors from all around the world as a progressive network of relevant actors to join together in the spirit of recognition, justice and development of Africa, it’s people on the continent and across it’s Diaspora.”

So, just who are the Brazilians who made this year’s list? Let’s meet them. 

Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today
Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today

Ten black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD 100 Most Influential African descendants

The ranking was released at the 74th UN General Assembly on Monday (5).

The Mipad list is a UN project for the International Decade of People of African Descent, from 2015 to 2024. As such, every year it enumerates important personalities for the development, justice and recognition of Africa and its descendants. The formation of the list is divided into four categories: Media and Culture, Business and Entrepreneurship, Humanitarianism and Activism, Politics and Governance.

It is important to remember that Brazil is the country with one of the largest black populations outside Africa. Pretos (blacks) and pardos (browns) make up about 54% of the Brazilian population, a total of about 118.9 million people.  About 9.3% of about 215 million Brazilians self-declare themselves specifically as black. Thus, the MIPAD ranking represents the importance of blackness in society and the breaking of stereotypes and racism in Brazil, by electing the 10 most influential black Brazilians in the world in 2020.

In terms of entrepreneurship, those representing Brazil are Samantha Almeida, director of Twitter Next in Brazil, and Alan Soares, one of the founders of the Movimento Black Money (Black Money Movement). In the list below, we learn a little more about the ten making it onto MIPAD’s 2020 list.

Senator Paulo Paim

1. Paulo Paim

Profession: Senator of the Republic

Category: Special Edition

Paulo Renato Paim, 70, has been a politician since the late 1980s. Born in Caxias do Sul, he had four terms as federal deputy of Rio Grande Sul and now holds the Senator seat for the third time, for the Workers’ Party (PT).

As a young man, he participated in student movements in favor of freedom and democracy, against the Dictatorship (1964-1985). However, Paim gained political notoriety when he joined the Metalworkers Union of Canoas in 1981. He led demonstrations at the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) in Rio Grande do Sul. In addition, he was part of the Constituent Assembly in 1988 to draft the current Federal Constitution.

São Paulo State Representative Erica Malunguinho

2. Erica Malunguinho

Profession: State Representative

Category: Politics and Governance

Érica da Silva, 38, is the first transsexual woman in the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo. The State Representative – PSOL, is from Recife (PE) and went to São Paulo to study. A master in Aesthetics and Art History from the University of São Paulo (USP), she also worked as a teacher and cultural agent. In 2016, she was one of the founders of the urban quilombo Aparelha Luiza, a place she calls “a place of rebalancing forces that projects an alternation of power, as should be the rule in said democracy”.

Thus, Érica works in different sectors of society, namely: anti-racist struggle, education, health, culture, traditional peoples, terreiro communities, women, LGBTQIA + population and prison population.

Entrepreneur Alan Soares

3. Alan Soares

Profession: trader, businessman, founder of the Black Money Movement

Category: Business & Entrepreneurship

“A humanist who believes in the power of data-driven decisions.” That’s how the Carioca (Rio native) Alan Soares, born in Pilares, in the north zone of Rio de Janeiro, summarizes his mission on his LinkedIn profile.

Soares, born in Rio de Janeiro, is a businessman and founder of the Black Money Movement (MBM), the Innovation Hub of the Black Community, along with executive Nina Silva. The organization is a hub, that is, a technological company that manages startups. Therefore, StartBlackUP, Afreektech, DBlackbank and Mercado Black Money are part of the Movement.

Thus, Alan is one of the pioneers in the struggle for entrepreneurship and business generation among the black community. “This is a powerless community, both institutional and financial. There is no interest in financing specific programs and public policies for blacks. Whatever the country’s political context, blacks lose out,” says Soares, in an interview with Forbes magazine. Thus, for the businessman, “the MBM was a reaction to all this, an attempt to build another narrative for an oppressed minority”, he added.

According to Forbes magazine, in 2016, when Alan started thinking about the Black Money Movement, he had a clear goal: to combat the effects of structural racism through entrepreneurship and business generation among the black community.

Alan is also a social entrepreneur, mentor, trader and financial educator working for more than 10 years at Grupo Trader Brasil (Trader Group Brazil).

He says that during this decade he has helped investors and entrepreneurs to achieve their financial freedom (without promises of easy money) and growth of their ventures.

Publicist Samantha Almeida

4. Samantha Almeida

Profession: Director of Twitter Next in Brazil

Category: Business & Entrepreneurship

Samantha Almeida, 39, is a publicist and current leader of Twiitter Next. Therefore, the influential woman is responsible for developing strategies, campaigns and new formats for advertisers. She was born in the Rocinha community in Rio de Janeiro in the 1980s. Before Twitter, Samantha was the content director at Ogilvy Brasil. The entrepreneur has a professional trajectory closely linked to communication, with experience of connection between brands, influencers and pop culture. In addition, she previously worked in Media and Social Networks at Avon.

She has also worked at eMusic2/Mynd, communication leader at Avon, The Esteé Lauder Companies, as well as working at Trifil & Scala and Levi Strauss Co. With deep knowledge (and addiction) about racism in Brazil and a sense of what it means to be non-belonging, these themes are present in the digital actions that she has already developed. Like the campaigns carried out in 2017 for Avon, for example.

“When I arrived in the communication market, I felt a lack that I still didn’t know how to explain, but that later would become a subscription. I understood that I liked entertainment, but that the one I knew didn’t contemplate people like me. Neither my culture, nor my references, nor my origins. That’s why, when I started to lead the construction of narratives, I started to insert the faults I felt, which necessarily passed through race, gender and class,” Samantha said in an interview with the Mundo Negro portal.

Almeida recently appeared on Women to Watch, created by Advertising Age and held in Brazil by Meio & Mensagem to honor successful women.

Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today
Singers IZA and Leo Santana

5. IZA

Profession: Singer and songwriter

Category: Media & Culture

Rio de Janeiro singer IZA, 30, also made the 2020 most influential black list. Also a composer, she started her artistic career in 2016. With her first album, Dona de Mim (2018), she received the Latin Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Pop Album in Portuguese.

In addition, one of IZA’s songs has already been part of the soundtrack of the Globo TV novela (soap opera) O Sétimo Guardião. Above all, the pop singer is a judge on the reality show The Voice Brasil and one of the hosts of the Música Boa program, both on the Rede Globo network.

Finally, IZA became a reference in the world of music, with the hits “Dona de Mim”, “Pesadão” and “Brisa”.

6. Léo Santana

Profession: Singer

Category: Media & Culture

Léo Santana, 32, is one of the greatest Bahian singers of the music genre Axé. The third man among the 10 most influential black Brazilians, he gained national recognition with the song Rebolation (2011), when he was in the group Parangolé. However, in 2014, he started his solo career and has since accumulated several hits, with songs among the most played in Brazil. Thus, his main hits are “Contatinho”, “Invocada”, “Crush Blogueirinha”, “Liga Liga” and “Santinha”.

Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today
Journalist Renan Souza

7. Renan Souza

Profession: Journalist – International editor of CNN Brasil

Category: Media & Culture

Renan Souza is a journalist and internationalist awarded by the European Tourism Commission, the US State Department and the Argentine Senate. Previously working at SBT as editor and International coordinator, today he works at CNN. In addition, Renan has traveled 53 countries and studied in the United States and Israel.

Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today
Betty Agi and Brenda Agi founders of Compaixão Internacional

8 and 9. Betty Agi and Brenda Agi

Profession: Founders of the NGO Compaixão Internacional

Category: Business & Entrepreneurship

Sisters Betty and Brenda are founders of the NGO Compaixão Internacional. Daughters of a Mozambican father and a Brazilian mother, the two work directly in the organization on a voluntary basis, in order to promote social entrepreneurship for young people and adults.

In addition, Betty Agi and Brenda Agi give lectures and provide consultancy and project management at the company Genial Projetos. Finally, they were speakers at TEDx in Belo Horizonte (MG) in 2018 and in the city of Anápolis (GO) in 2019.

Ten Black Brazilians included on 2020 MIPAD | Black Brazil Today
Ballerina Ingrid Silva

10. Ingrid Silva

Profession: Ballerina and activist

Category: Humanitarianism and Activism

Ballerina Ingrid Silva is on the list of the 10 most influential black Brazilians. She was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1978. She started dancing ballet at the age of 8 and participated in Projeto Dançar Para Não Dançar. In addition, she studied at the Escola de Dança Maria Olenewa (Maria Olenewa Dance School) and at the Centro de Movimento Debora Colker (Debora Colker Movement Center). Still a teenager, the dancer won a scholarship in the United States to the Dance Theater of Harlem School in 2007. To this day, she belongs to the dance company.

She has already acted as a guest artist at Dançar Para Não Dançar (Brazil), Armitage Gone! Dance (USA), Francesca Harper Project (USA). Also, Ingrid was a cultural ambassador for the US when she gave workshops in Jamaica, Honduras and Israel. In addition, she was featured in the film Maré, Nossa História de Amor (2007), directed by Lúcia Murat and Karolina Specht.

Finally, the dancer received the Silver Lion award in Cannes in 2016 for her performance in Activia’s advertising campaign.

“I always thought that dance could be my dream and I am so happy, to share about my life and my dance world with you, dance has really changed my life.”

Source: DCI,Folha Dirigida

About Marques Travae 3514 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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