Manoel Johnson Sales
This profile was prepared when Manoel Johnson Sales was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Opportunities for positive self-expression are scarce for young people living in the poor urban neighborhoods of Brazil; many lack the basic resources, career prospects, and skills they need to build rewarding lives. Manoel spreads an organizing model that fills these gaps, balancing goals of social and economic empowerment. To draw and sustain the interest of young people, Manoel integrates hip-hop culture into all aspects of his program, the Movimento Hip-Hop Organizado (MH2O). He works with young people to create graffiti art, perform rap music, and design and market products for sale to a wide audience. Through Manoel’s movement, young people across Brazil build entrepreneurial skills, tackle social problems, and find their creative voice, all while securing a steady stream of income.