On May 13th, the President of Humanitas360 Institute, Patrícia Villela Marino, received the Afro-Brazilian Civic Merit Medal, awarded annually by the Zumbi dos Palmares University. In 2022. marks a reflection on the 134 years since the signing of the Lei Áurea, which officially ended slavery in Brazil.
The Afro-Brazilian Civic Merit Medal contemplates personalities who contributed to the empowerment and improvement of the socioeconomic, cultural and educational condition of the black people in Brazil, valuing respect for difference, tolerance and equal opportunities.
“We do this revisiting because we learned that freedom was given, but then we discovered that this freedom was an achievement, which began with the first black man who arrived in this country. The first act of this black man was one of rebellion. The homeland that we are still trying to build was started by the blacks in the quilombos”, said Dean José Vicente at the ceremony.
Also honored with the Afro-Brazilian Civic Merit Medal, Inês Coimbra, Attorney General of the State of São Paulo, recalled: “Each of us must use our scale to change a system of exclusion, and transform it into a system of inclusion. I am the first black state attorney general, but certainly not the last.”
In her speech, the President of the Humanitas360 Institute Patrícia Villela Marino recalled the importance of thinking about the prison population – especially the female one, which, reflecting the inequality of Brazilian society, is composed of a majority of black and brown women. “One of H360’’ priorities is to work with this population, promoting the establishment of social cooperatives, so that we can instill in these people knowledge, entrepreneurship and good business practices at the most difficult time of their lives.”
The Zumbi dos Palmares University, led by dean José Vicente, is the first higher education institution created with a focus on the inclusion of black students in the Latin American continent, with more than 90% of its students composed of this public. Patrícia Villela Marino’s award is due to the work Humanitas360 Institute does benefiting incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people from the Brazilian prison system, most of whom are black. The proportion of blacks in the prison system has grown by 14%, while that of whites has declined by 19% in recent years. Today, of every three prisoners in the country, two are black, as revealed in the 14th Brazilian Forum on Public Security Yearbook.
The same tribute was also given to Aline Torres, Secretary of Culture; Carlos Gilberto Carlotti, Dean of USP; Antonio Jose Meirelles, Dean of Unicamp; Luciana Alves, Pro-Dean of Unifesp, Fernando Capez, State Deputy; Eunice Prudente, Secretary of Justice; David Hodge, US Consul General in São Paulo and Adriana Alves, Coordinator of Diversity of Inclusion and Belonging at USP; Inês dos Santos Coimbra, Attorney General of the State of São Paulo; Professor Sandra Miessa, widow of Grupo Objetivo’ s founder, João Carlos Di Genio; judge Guaraci Campos Vianna; São Paulo City Council’ s President, Milton Leite; the deputy consul of Israel in São Paulo, Aviel Avraham; the president of Fundação Padre Anchieta, José Roberto Maluf; the president of the Brazilian Association of Security Guard Training and Improvement Courses, Ricardo Correa.