What does it take to move the world?
Meet the individuals who represent a new guard of social justice, building a future grounded in equality for all.
That strength in numbers guides Santana’s work at UNEAfro Brasil, which helps young Afro-Brazilians access higher education and is part of the Black Coalition of Rights, a group of 150 organizations fighting for racial and social justice across Brazil. The statistics are alarming—a young Black man is murdered every 23 minutes, Blacks are killed by firearms 2.5 times more than whites, and 75 percent of murder victims are Black. So alarming that Black Coalition of Rights released a campaign equating the state’s treatment of Afro-Brazilians to genocide. In August, it called for Bolsonaro’s impeachment for eroding the quality of life of Blacks, who make up more than half of the country’s population. The coalition has also helped block racist legislation in Congress and participated in the creation of economic policies to help those impacted by the pandemic.
With her gift of words, Santana sheds a light on injustices to right, inequities to reverse, indignities to restore—even if doing so puts her life in jeopardy, even if she never witnesses the fruits of her labor. “I do not expect to benefit in my life from the work I do today,” she said. “But I hope to pave the way toward racial and social justice.” Spoken like a true trailblazer.
Illustration by Agata Nowicka