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ABOUT

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.

OUR HISTORY

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, resistance, memory, radical love, and self-determination of Black Brazilians. Our mission is to be a quilombo-like women-led space for our community where we build power and co-create a safe, welcoming, and joyful collective experience.

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.

Vision

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 Mission

OUR STRATEGIC TEAM

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Flavia Barbosa

Coordinator, Co-founder

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. She is a Mom, Birth/postpartum Doula, Interpreter, and Samba Dancer in NY. Flávia was born and raised in Vidigal, in Rio de Janeiro.

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Fernanda Dias

Coordinator, Co-founder

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

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Luana Reis

Coordinator

Luana Reis, the daughter of Analice, is a poet, educator, and Black feminist scholar. She is a PhD Candidate in Literature at the University of Pittsburgh, where she teaches Portuguese and researches Contemporary Black Women Literature and Maroonage. Her dedication to teaching and scholarly contributions have been acknowledged through prestigious awards, including a Fulbright fellowship (FLTA 2013-2014) and a “K Leroy Irvis Inspiring Leadership Award” highlighting her commitment to educational excellence and innovative leadership within academia.


Luana is currently a fellow at the Pittsburgh Latinx Artist Residency (PLAR). As the visionary founder of the poetry organization "AddVerse", Luana cultivates a space where writers and audiences converge, harnessing the potent force of poetry to address a diverse array of pressing issues, particularly race and gender, freedom and refuge, and language and identity. Luana was born and raised in Feira de Santana, Bahia.

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Priscila Santana

Coordinator

Priscila Santana is a conductor, curator, educator, and researcher, with a passion for harnessing the transcendent influence of music to instigate societal transformation. Born and raised in Salvador, Brazil, she spearheaded Prima, a governmental arts initiative that enriched the lives of over 1500 underprivileged youth. Priscila manages programming at the SummerStage Festival, contributing to the curation and coordination of 60-80 free cultural events annually in New York City, including the renowned Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. Concurrently, she's pursuing doctoral studies in the Ed.D in Music and Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, exploring the intersection of Black feminist studies, cultural policies and leadership in the arts, especially music and education.

Priscila dedicates her time to nurturing her daughter, Sofia. As a musician, she lends her talents to conducting with the International Brazilian Opera Company and leading an all female samba ensemble. She actively engages in community activism, serving as a volunteering coordinator at the Collective of Black Brazilian Students at Columbia University, known as Afra.

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Mel Adún

Coordinator

Mel Adún is a writer and editor. She is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at NYU. She is co-founder of Editora Ogum's Publishing House in Brasil. Mel Adún have been writing for almost 20 years. She is the author of A Lua Cheia de Vento (children's book, 2015), Adumbi (children's book, 2016), and Reino d'Água (children's book, 2024);  Peixe fora da Baía (short stories, 2021), Quantas Tantas (poetry, 2021), and Banzo (poetry 2024).
Her writings can be found, in poetry and prose, in several anthologies inside and out of Brasil. Mel Adún is part of Corpos Indóceis e Mentes Livres (Insubmissive Bodies and Free Minds).

Leonora Paula Kilomba Collective

Leonora Souza Paula

Coordinator

Leonora Souza Paula PhD is an educator, researcher, and social impact strategist with over a decade of experience in anti-racist education, racial and gender equity advocacy, and community engagement. Leonora is the co-founder 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. Leonora has a doctorate in Comparative Literature and a background in Afro-Brazilian and Latin American Studies with focus on urban memory and cultural heritage recovery and preservation.
 

Leonora was born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.

Groups we have collaborated and engaged with:

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Kilomba Collective is fiscally sponsored by Movement Strategy Center.

KILOMBA COLLECTIVE

Kilomba Collective is the first collective formed by Black Brazilian women in the United States.

Email:info@kilomba.org

Social Media: @kilombacollective

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