Overcoming deep inequalities and the full implementation of rights and principles set forth in the 1988 Constitution are critical to achieve the economic and social justice changes necessary for Brazil to fulfill its national potential.
The Regional Context
With the end of military dictatorship in 1985 and the adoption of a new constitution in 1988, Brazil developed a solid foundation for a vibrant democracy. This foundation supported sweeping social progress: infant mortality has dropped almost in half since 1990, enrollment in basic education reached 97 percent in 2005, and poverty rates have been reduced 13 percent from 1995 to 2008.
Despite this progress, much of Brazil's wealth remains highly concentrated. With the 10th largest economy in the world, Brazil still has 53 million citizens living below the poverty line, and more than 19 million living in extreme poverty. Crime and violence kills thousands of Brazilians every year, and land ownership remains largely in the hands of the rich and powerful. People of color, in particular, continue to face discrimination and exclusion from decision-making processes and are underrepresented in key institutions.
The goal of our work is to help change structures and policies that deepen the inequalities faced by marginalized groups.
We support efforts to bring positive change to key public systems and institutions that perpetuate inequality, discrimination and exclusion. We believe these steps will strengthen democracy and create a process for broader social justice change, where vulnerable groups across the country will have the opportunity to access public services and protect their rights.
What We're Doing
Our work is carried out in collaboration with innovative people from a range of fields and organizations, including universities, government agencies, civil society groups and other key institutions to better represent the interests of the underrepresented, including Afro-Brazilians, traditional and indigenous populations and women.
We focus on:
- Strengthening enforcement of the justice and rights systems, especially pertaining to the challenges of enforcing human rights in cities
- Securing land rights and sustainable natural resources use
- Promoting a balance between freedom of expression and media regulation
- Strengthening Afro-Brazilians and Indigenous people's organizations and leadership
Our grant making in the region is pursued through the following initiatives.
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Praia do Flamengo 154, 8° andar
Rio de Janeiro, R.J.
- +55 21 3235 2100
- +55 21 3235 2104
From the Newsroom
The Role of Philanthropy in Latin America
Special section in America’s Quarterly highlights the foundation’s support for the region over the past half-century
Five Decades of Progress in Latin America
A report on our 50th anniversary symposium from the Brazilian newspaper O Globo
Ford Foundation President Opens the Latin American Anniversary Symposium in Brazil
Marking 50 years of grant making and support to social change leaders as well as the impact of the region’s political transformation today
50 Anos de Mudanças na América Latina
Fundação Ford marca de cinco décadas de trabalho na região para expandir as oportunidades, fortalecer os direitos humanos e promover a justiça social