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Students Explore Afro-Brazilian Life during Study Abroad Program

July 2017

Brazil 2017 Study Abroad GroupSeven Spelman students recently participated in “Cultural Encounters in Brazil,” a four-week, summer study abroad program in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. During the trip, held May 24-June 21, the students explored the history and culture of the South American country, with a focus on Afro-Brazilian experiences.

In addition to taking classes on Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language, they experienced cultural immersion through homestays with host families. The students also participated in educational activities at the Instituto Cultural Steve Biko and Bahia Street, two organizations that strive to increase educational access for Afro-Brazilian youth.

“Bahia is unique because of its cultural diversity and unapologetic presence of Blackness,” said comparative women’s studies major Kiersten White, C’2018. “Because of this, the city is thriving with Afro-Diasporic magic, something that as Spelman students, young women of African descent and world citizens is very important for us to experience.” Program co-directors Erica L. Williams, Ph.D., and Ashanté Reese, Ph.D., both faculty members in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, led the educational excursion. Dr. Williams co-founded the program in 2011.

Brazil 2017 Study Abroad Group