Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 1991
Casa de Cultura da Mulher Negra


This profile was prepared when Alzira dos Santos Rufino was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1991.
The New Idea
Alzira's cultural center is home base for a broad coalition of Afro-Brazilians seeking to change their status in society. Open to all, despite its special concern for black women, it is designed to make it easy for the community to come together without engendering factions.
The center provides a number of direct services designed to (1) build Afro-Brazilian identity, pride, and unity and encourage cultural awareness and understanding; (2) give members of the community skills; and (3) educate them about their legal rights and how to fight for them.
The center hosts a series of Afro-oriented seminars, discussions, and cultural and artistic events. It also houses an Afro-Brazilian restaurant.
If Alzira and her center can make so much difference in a major municipality like Santos, organizing on similar lines in a hundred other cities could create a powerful wave across the country.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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