Afro-Brazilians are currently in a pivotal sociocultural stage of critical awareness and development around racial and class identity, but there is potential for tangible change and action, says Saige Porter, winner of the 2024 Raoul Wallenberg Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

“But many communities who face inequality in major cities remain on the fringes of this movement,” Porter said. “I intend to continue my work with preta (Black) and parda (brown) Brazilian women and university researchers who focus on these issues to form a community-centered participatory approach grounded in their culture and praxis models.”

Porter spent five weeks in Brazil last year. There, she worked with a São Paulo organization, the Community Friends Project, learning about the enmeshment of racial, social and economic inequality.

“That organization is a haven for many members of the community, especially low-income single mothers and their children, where they have access to mental health services and extracurricular activities,” she said. “Now I want to work alongside them to develop awareness of the structural and systemic elements fostering social inequality.”

After graduating from LSA — where she is majoring in women and gender studies — this May, Porter will return to São Paulo in August for about a year.

To read the full article on the University Record, click here.