Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2004
This description of Josilene Brandão da Costa's work was prepared when Josilene Brandão da Costa was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
Brazil’s quilombo population—the last vestiges of the country’s slave culture—is facing increasing hardship on a number of fronts, from land ownership to access to basic services. There is widespread recognition of their plight, yet public officials and other decision-makers suffer from a profound misunderstanding of the problems faced by these remote rural communities formed by runaway slaves. Where past efforts by outsiders have failed, Josilene (Jo) brings her own understanding of the issues as a displaced quilombola, offering fresh insight and incorporating aspects of quilombo society and culture in the development of appropriate and long-lasting social solutions.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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