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    Renê Patriota is a physician who empowers consumers to demand and receive better health care from both the public health system and private health insurance and health plans. Her association resolves immediate problems that threaten patients' access to urgently needed medical attention and seeks long-term solutions to guarantee patients' access to quality health services. Renê's work enables individuals to become active citizens as they exercise their right to quality health care.

    Marta Porto is driving lasting behavior change around key social issues that are poorly understood in Brazil. She has developed a new paradigm for communication whereby she tailors social messages through dozens of media tools in order to communicate with thousands of micro-audiences. By effectively targeting these communities, speaking to them in a language they understand and leading them through their behavioral changes, Marta is impacting the lives of thousands of people throughout Brazil.

    Marta is setting up an information system for the physically, mentally and sensorially disabled. The system will collect, produce, and disseminate important information for this currently neglected sector of the population, and with this service, Marta expects to influence public policy, thus improving the quality of life and citizenship of disabled populations.

    Walter Varanda is working with São Paulo's adult street population to ensure their basic survival and promote their long-term independence. He is engaging a wide array of individuals and institutions to encourage their active participation in crafting and implementing solutions to Brazil's homelessness problem.

    Without legally established paternity, 30 percent of Brazil’s children raised by single mothers face lifelong stigma and limited financial means. Marli da Silva promotes the full citizenship and material and affective support of children abandoned by their fathers by supporting single mothers. She is reforming the legal system, changing public perceptions and mobilizing mothers to improve their lives.

    A recognized and respected leader in the area of human rights, Oscar Vilhena Vieira has pioneered the creation of a range of projects and activities in the human rights field both, in Brazil, to ensure that human rights guaranteed in the constitution come to be respected in practice and, at the international level, to change the focus from North-South linkages to South-South dialogue and cooperation.

    In Brazil, the power of the media to celebrate the diversity of its population, particularly citizens of African descent, has rarely been harnessed. Paulo Rogerio Nunes is training black and white media professionals to foster interracial understanding in mass and alternative media.

    Brazil's more than 200 indigenous peoples are largely voiceless and suffer from the country's worst living conditions. They are often perceived by mainstream society as unusual, primitive, or violent. Vincent Carelli battles such prejudice and discrimination with Video in the Villages, a program that empowers indigenous peoples and changes mainstream societal perceptions.

    Valdecir Pedreira do Nascimento is giving young domestic workers in Brazil the confidence and skills to stand up for their rights. Her comprehensive program integrates education, media, and the law in an effort to professionalize domestic work and open up opportunities for Brazilian youth.

    As a pioneer in the field of urban housing reform, Maria das Gracas “Graca” Xavier is mobilizing historically excluded groups to take charge of their housing needs, and in turn, advance their legal and political interests.