Samuel Emílio discusses structural racism and education for transformation

July 2023

We held the 4th G5 Talks interview with Samuel Emílio, the 24-year-old co-founder of Educafro’s Engaja Negritude platform, national coordinator of Movimento Acredito and participant in the RenovaBR training program. At the interview, held on June 9th, Samuel talked to Corrado Varoli, Founding Partner and CEO of G5 Partners, and André Benchimol, Senior Partner. G5 Talks is a project through which business leaders exchange experiences and learnings with the team at G5 Partners. Samuel earned a degree in Production Engineering and was a fellow of the “Pró-Líder” and “Guerreiros Sem Armas” programs, from Instituto Four and Instituto Elos, respectively, and supported by G5 Partners. Samuel talked about racism, education, diversity and inclusion. Among the highlights of the interview was the discussion on the difference between individual and structural racism. According to him, in the first situation, someone targets a black person exclusively because of the color of their skin. It is personal attitudes and thoughts that lead to this type of discrimination. The second situation occurs in a less obvious way and is associated with the cultural legacy of the slavery period. That type of racism occurs through practices, habits, situations and speeches embedded in our customs and which promote, directly or indirectly, segregation and racial discrimination. To understand structural racism, we need to know a little history. 

“A curios fact is that plantation owners protested and requested compensation from the Empire because of Lei Áurea, the law that freed slaves, since they considered slaves as their personal property. Soon after, these same people, who believed this was the norm, began to build our Institutions. They built our Court of Justice and public safety rules. The built our schools and rules to access education. Many other institutions were built by people who were racist, which, at that time, was normal. And until this day, we continue with the same institutions. We live in a modern slave model.” 


With a solid educational approach, Samuel believes that through political will and determination we can transform education in Brazil and, consequently, “solve many of the problems that underlie racism in our country”. “When I look at the education model in Brazil, my wish is that every child had a public manager who believed in their education as much as my mother believed in mine. That was the game changer. Unfortunately, there is no political will, but we can build that”, he concluded. Among his projects to help society learn more about racism, Samuel recently launched a program called “anti-racist diary”. For 30 days, registered users received, via mobile phone, content pills to learn a little more about the theme. In just a few days, the over 10,000 users had registered entirely spontaneously. 


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