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The National Newsletter

Issue No. 7 (March 9, 2020). For more information contact: democracybrazil@gmail.com

The U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil is a decentralized, democratic, non-partisan national network founded at Columbia Law School on December 1, 2018 with three objectives:
  • Educate the U.S. public about the current situation in Brazil
  • Defend progressive social, economic, political, and cultural advances in Brazil
  • Support social movements, community organizations, NGOs, universities, and activists, etc., who will be vulnerable in this new political climate
In this issue you will find:
  1. $100,000 Fundraising Campaign for a Washington, D.C. Brazil Office a Success
  2. Congressional Delegation in D.C.
  3. U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil West Coast Regional Meeting
$100,000 Fundraising Campaign for a Washington, D.C. Brazil Office a Success

With the generous support of two anonymous donors and the grassroots support of members of the U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil, we have managed to meet our goal of raising $100,000 to establish the Washington, D.C. Office on Brazil. We are currently working on setting up the office and hiring a staff person. We want to thank the Center for Economic and Policy Research for collaborating with us on this project as well as all of the supporters who contributed to this effort. Keeping the office open will be an ongoing challenge and will be asking for your help in the future.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) meets with congresswomen Fernanda Melchionna (PSOL), Erika Kokay (PT), and Joênia Wapichana (REDE).
Congressional Delegation in D.C.

For the past eight months, the Network, in partnership with Amazon Watch, Greenpeace, the Center for Policy and Economic Research (CEPR), and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), has been working to support and organize a congressional delegation visit from Brazil to the United States. At the official invitation of Representatives Deb Haaland (D-NM) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), congresswomen Erika Kokay (PT), Joênia Wapichana (REDE), and Fernanda Melchionna (PSOL) participated in a series of meetings in D.C. between February 24 and 28. Their busy schedule included meeting with Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), as well as meetings with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR-OAS) and the Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

The trip is part of the USNDB’s greater mission to foster solidarity between Brazil and the United States in defense of democracy and human rights. We will continuously work to strengthen the connection between progressive forces in Brazil and abroad.
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM; second from right) with congresswomen Fernanda Melchionna (PSOL), Erika Kokay (PT), and Joênia Wapichana (REDE).
Participants at the USNDB West Coast Regional Meeting.
U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil West Coast Regional Meeting

On February 7 and 8, 2020, the Behner Stiefel Center for Brazilian Studies at San Diego State University held the first U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil meeting on the West Coast. Gladys Mitchell-Walthour, Associate Professor from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and USNDB national co-coordinator, opened the meeting by introducing the objectives of the network and addressing the Afro-Brazilian Committee’s work related to raising awareness of the social, economic, and political conditions of Afro-Brazilians historically and under the Bolsonaro administration. Professor Mitchell-Walthour also spoke of the importance of strengthening ties with Afro-Brazilian activists and of advocating for Afro-Brazilian rights. 

The keynote speaker was activist Douglas Belchior, member of the Coalition for Black-Rights and founder of UNEafro, a national organization that prepares youth for higher education and the workplace, with a focus on anti-racism and empowerment. The meeting also included the West Coast Collectives, such as the Coletivo por um Brasil Democrático (Los Angeles, CA), Re-Existir (Santa Cruz, CA), Desbordar (Santa Cruz, CA), and Marielle Franco (San Diego, CA), in addition to academics from around the country that presented their work and discussed challenges in the fight against government authoritarianism. The meeting ended with a list of actions and an agreement among the participants and collectives to work together to build a strong network to support democracy and human rights in Brazil.
Scenes from the West Coast Regional Meeting.
 
Want to share your events with the U.S. Network? Please email democracybrazil@gmail.com with any upcoming events and we will add them to our calendar.
For any questions or concerns, please email democracybrazil@gmail.com.
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