Kilomba Collective is a collective dedicated to centering the perspective and realities of Black Brazilian people, especially Black women and girls in their multiple identities, in the international scenario, connecting with other Black women's movements in the African Diaspora. We do so by developing advocacy, capacity building, and international solidarity strategies on issues around social justice, gender equality, and human rights.
Kilomba Collective is the first collective of Black Brazilian women in the United States. It was founded in November 2019, by a group of five Black Brazilian women who were born and raised in different regions of Brazil, and met after moving to the United States.
The United States is home to the largest Brazilian population outside of Brazil. The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimated that, in 2017, 1.2 million Brazilians live here. Brazil is the world's second-largest Black nation, with more than 55% of the population Black, which results in a very diverse immigrant population in the United States. However, in the country, non-Black Brazilians were unacceptably speaking about the experiences of Black Brazilians in different spaces. Those inadmissible scenes of erasure showed that anti-Blackness and different forms of violence against Black Brazilians cross borders and remain firm even on foreign territory.
Since its inception, Kilomba Collective has been driven by its vision, connecting a multigenerational network of Black Brazilian women from different backgrounds and centering the experiences of Black Brazilian women and girls in the international scenario. Kilomba's name is a reference to the Quilombos, self-sustainable revolutionary communities that represent Black liberation and resistance, memory, radical love, and affection of Black Brazilians. The Quilombos were created by Black people who were kidnapped from Africa and brought to Brazil in the 17th century.
Mission and Values
Kilomba is guided by its mission of being an international reference in the dialogues about Brazil, building counter-narratives that center Black Brazilian people’s perspectives and realities. We foster spaces of affection and learning among Black women in their multiple identities, connecting with other Black women's movements in the African Diaspora.
Values: Ancestrality, Humanization, Affection, Criticism, Love for the Black People, Transnational Solidarity, and Respect.
Promote racial justice in order to achieve the full realization of the human rights of Black people. Humanize our stories and centralize girls, young people, and Black women through advocacy and organizing. Build bridges that connect the African diasporas and enable us to thrive and fully experience our humanity.
OUR STRATEGIC TEAM
Marry Ferreira (she/her) is Brazilian communication and advocacy specialist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Federal Fluminense University and a master's degree in Public Media from Fordham University. Marry has worked for a number of nonprofits in the Americas developing strategies to build international solidarity and community organizing. She is currently a Youth Rep at the United Nations for the USA International Association of Women in Radio and Television and an international columnist for Revista Afirmativa.
Marry was born and raised in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro.
Flavia Barbosa is a psychologist, with an MBA in Human Resources from Universidade Federal Fluminense. In Brazil, she worked as a human resources analyst for eight years, specializing in recruitment, training, and career planning.
Flavia currently lives in New York, where she also acts on the city's cultural scene by giving samba lessons.
Flávia was born and raised in Vidigal, in Rio de Janeiro.
Fernanda Dias is a Ph.D. student in the Anthropology and Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a popular educator and a critical researcher with a history of student activism for affirmative actions in Brazilian public higher education institutions and broad professional experience in various educational settings and executive coordination of educational projects.
Fernanda was born in Belo Horizonte and raised in Vespasiano, Minas Gerais
Juliana is a lawyer, researcher, speaker, and mother of Olivia. She has a master's degree in Sociology and Law, and a Juris Doctor degree from Federal Fluminense University. She is a researcher at the Research Group on Sexuality, Law, and Democracy (UFF), with a specialization on the articulation between feminist and women's movements, racial justice, and Christianities. Maia is also a Project Assistant at Pluraliza-Consultoria de Diversidade e Inclusão em Trabalho.
Juliana was born and raised in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Luana Reis is the daughter of the poet and oral narrator Analice Reis. She is a PhD student in Literature at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches Portuguese and researches Contemporary Black Women Literature and Maroonage. She was a Fulbright fellow (FLTA 2013-2014). She received the award for excellence in teaching Portuguese in the United States from the American Organization of Teachers of Portuguese in 2017. She is the founder of the poetry collective ADDverse + Poesia, a transnational group to celebrate the voices of Black / Indigenous / LGBTQIA + writers and to develop collaborative artistic, cultural and intellectual projects.
Luana was born and raised in Feira de Santana, Bahia.
Priscila Santana is a conductor, educator, researcher, and administrator with more than 10 years of experience working and advocating for music as a tool for social change in the favelas of Brazil. She has a master’s degree in Music Education from the Federal University of Paraiba and currently works as the Executive Assistant/Project Manager at Kaufman Music Center in New York City. She was born and raised in Salvador, Bahia.
In Brazil, Priscila was the artistic/ pedagogical director and conductor of Prima, a governamental arts program for low-income youth and communities, with more than 1500 students from 24 cities in the state of Paraiba.
Mel Adún is a writer and journalist, a Master in Literature and Culture at the Federal University of Bahia, and a Ph.D. student in Literature and Culture at the University of Kentucky. She is co-founder of Editora Ogum's Publishing House in Brasil. Mel Adún is the author of A Lua Cheia de Vento (children's book, 2015) and Adumbi (children's book, 2016); and Peixe fora da Baía (short stories, 2021) and Quantas Tantas (poetry, 2021). Her writings can be found, in poetry and prose, in several anthologies inside and out of Brasil. The Waters chose Mel Adún; she is the daughter of Oxum and the mother of Ominirê. In her writings, black-amefrican-feminist voices can be heard, always carried by the ancestors' power in her texts. Mel Adún is part of the Ogum's Toques Negros Collective.
Leonora Souza Paula
Leonora is an educator and researcher. She has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California San Diego, an M.A., and a B.A. in Literary Studies from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Her research examines the intersections of contemporary Brazilian literature and culture and critical race studies, gender studies and urban studies. Leonora is the founding co-director of the Sister Circle Mentoring Program for Women of Color and is an alum of the Human Rights Center Fellowship at the University of California Berkeley School of Law.
Leonora was born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.