Lula Ramires

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2005


This profile was prepared when Lula Ramires was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
As a former middle-school teacher, Lula is a firm believer in the potential of public schools to shape social attitudes, and he taps this potential to address a problem of particular urgency. In Brazil, a country that leads the world in instances of anti-gay violence and abuse, he works to bring tolerance of diversity, particularly in relation to sexual orientation, to every teacher and every student.
Through a project that links a new rights-focused curriculum with intensive programs of teacher preparation, Lula has begun to fill a huge gap in his country’s efforts at diversity education. His project is the first in Brazil to offer a coherent suite of materials supporting teachers in an exploration of difference and tolerance, and it has grown quickly to meet compelling need. It started in 2001 in São Paulo with 25 teachers; in the past two years, 5,000 teachers have participated, gaining the resources, support, and continuous training they need to introduce sensitive topics in the classroom. Lula supports a broad array of parallel efforts, building tolerance and respect for human rights through public marches, health outreach, and youth leadership programs. Through clear and rigorous evaluations that prove the impact of his programs, Lula hopes to bring his work—both within and outside schools—to ever-broader audiences, and to advance tolerance of difference throughout Brazil.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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