For the market, the effectiveness of a project can be scaled in several ways: grandeur, profitability, reach, number of involved (direct and indirect beneficiaries). In the projects and programs created by the Baobab Fund for Racial Equity, the analysis is based on factors that are far beyond the coldness of spreadsheets, huge numbers, sometimes lifeless and without history. The fact that Baobab’s projects and programs are focused on development and social justice makes the eye on the eye, the personal relationship, the small and the great individual changes, and so many other aspects, into something much more than relevant.
The Black Women’s Leadership Acceleration Program: Marielle Franco, launched in September 2019, in its first edition, had two edicts. The first, aimed at the support of groups, collectives and organizations of black women. The second, individual support for black leaders. Here, we will focus on the 14 organizations chosen from the 15 that were selected. Here we will focus on 3 of the 14 organizations that followed until the end of the Program (originally 15 organizations, groups and collectives selected).
The objective of the edict is to make the collectives, organizations and groups of black women strengthened in all their capacities, know and further develop their potential, increasing the leadership of black women. From this, mobilize and engage other people and institutions in the search for justice, racial and social equity. The Program is a partnership of the Baobab Fund with the Kellogg Foundation, Ibirapitanga Institute, Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundations.
To exemplify the transformations that occurred with the organizations that participated in the Program, we invited three of them to dialogue: Abayomi – Collective of Black Women in Paraíba; Ginga Suburb Women’s Movement (Salvador, Bahia) and the Black Women’s Network of Pernambuco.
Abayomi/PB acts in the protection and promotion of women’s rights. including confronting violence. Ginga/BA and the Black Women’s Network of Pernambuco are aligned with the same thematic area. The variation is in the design that each presented.
The Paraiba press conference Abayomi signed up with the Project Obirim Dudu: Moving Structures Against Racism. It consists in the production and dissemination of information on the conditions of black women in Paraíba, with the objective of contributing to the fight against racial issues, ensuring intellectual support and, consequently, material, and strengthening the institutional of organizations. Ginga brought the Project Black Women, Elaborating Strategies, Strengthening Knowledge, which sought to instrumentalize entities to compete, more equitably, to raise funds through edicts. The general objective was to train women working in social movements and leaders of entities in favor of other women, especially black women, in fundraising, through training in the elaboration of social intervention projects in Salvador and the metropolitan region. The Black Women’s Network of Pernambuco implemented Olori: Black and Peripheral Women Producing Leadership, whose focus was to promote a process of political formation for several women aiming at the construction of a collective project in the future. The first step was the institutional strengthening of three organizations that already operated in partnership so that they could be able to offer these courses of political training and technical training to the militants, who will be future leaders.
Applying in an edict from the Baobab Fund is not simply getting the rating and receiving the financial allocation. The organization knows from the first moment that it will undergo an intense process of transformation. In the case of the Black Female Leadership Acceleration Program: Marielle Franco, the goal at the end of five years, the expected time for the duration of the Program, is to have a range of organizations, collectives and groups of black women strengthened in its most diverse functionalities, which will enhance and generate greater prominence of entities commanded by black women.
In order to enhance the action of these organizations and promote networkaction, formative activities were implemented. The Ngo Criola and the Amma Psique and Negritude Institute were facilitators of this implementation. With Criola there were 14 meetings, lasting 3 hours each, from April to November 2020, which were about racism, sexism, lesbo and transphobia, public policies and social control, black female leadership, activist security. Each of these meetings had an average audience of 90 people. Amma, on the other hand, worked on the issue of confronting racism and its psychosocial effects. There were 5 meetings, also lasting 3 hours each, with an average audience of 20 people per class in each of them. Three classes were made available.
For the leaders of the individual support notice, coach sessions were offered to support and ensure the implementation of their individual development projects, in addition to the training activities mentioned above.
The Baoba Fund also scheduled and held virtual meetings (individual and group) to meet to awaken and strengthen potentials. From March to December 2021, there were 190 individualized visits and another 700, by message and telephone, denigring doubts, overturning insecurity and clarifying uncertainties arising mainly in the context of the pandemic. The meetings and attendances contributed so that they could create favorable conditions to achieve their individual and collective goals.
Achieving excellence requires effort, focus, resilience and unity. For barriers that arise in journeys of transformation to be overcome, acting in isolation is not the best way. Establishing partnerships is extremely important. The leaders supported individually or collectively by the Black Female Leadership Acceleration Program: Marielle Franco reiterated that the search for partners (or the strengthening of established partnerships) is something that can enable the achievement of results, given the experiences that can be shared, responsibilities that can be shared, skills that can be complemented, external connections that can be achieved, financial contribution that can be generated, in addition to many other variables. Among the 14 organizations chosen, 43% acknowledged having expanded their capacity to mobilize new partners; 36% said this capacity was under full construction and 7% were unanimous in the diagnosis that the ability to mobilize new partners was full.
Among the individually supported black female leaders, the establishment of partnerships aimed at achieving the intended objectives was total. 365 supported firmed partnerships with institutions; 187, with individuals and 85% reported having joined others also supported.
Looking to the future
After the journey of learning and transformation and aware of its new potentialities, making future projections of growth and achievements became the goal of these organizations.
“The support of the Baobab Fund designed us as an organization capable of executing projects and showed us to other supporters. Therefore, we intend to follow this path of claiming other financing to sustain our political action. Our plans for the next 12 months are, from the project (approved) of the FBDH (Brazil Human Rights Fund), the continuity of actions in the territories, institutional strengthening and the maintenance of political articulations and mobilizations together with local, regional and national organizations and movements. In our planning is the sending of project proposals for the production of content and information and conducting courses and training. We also intend to incorporate the issue of violence against black women and black health as priorities for the next two years,” said Durvalina Rodrigues Lima, the organization’s representative.
Ginga Suburb Women’s Movement:
“Based on the learning acquired with the execution of this project, we will launch ourselves in more complex edicts, with greater security about management. This experience also provided us with new articulations and networkactions, which we intend to continue, such as the realization of monthly lives with representatives of the entities that make up this new established network, for dialogue on themes aligned with the objectives of our collective. We are starting the community garden project, with the support of Terra Vida Soluções Ecológicas, from the urban composting system, which can contribute so that our group can become a reference point in the territory, as a multiplier of sustainable practices”, says Carine Lustosa, member of Ginga.
Network of Black Women of Pernambuco:
“Female Citizenship – maintain dialogue with the women who participated in the formations, to contribute to the strengthening of these leaders in their territories. Exercise the learning about organizational planning in the activities and actions of the institution. Seek and compete for notices for presentation of projects. Women’s Space – seek partnerships. With the possibility of the CNPJ we will seek edicts for our financial sustainability. And we will continue what we already do: caring, welcoming, supporting and strengthening women not only in the group, but also in the community of Passarinho,” says Rosita Maria Marques, of the Network’s management.
The actions promoted by the organizations Abayomi – Collective of Black Women in Paraíba; The Ginga (Salvador) Women’s Movement and the Black Women’s Network of Pernambuco give the idea of the impact that they and the other 11 organizations have had on the communities of the territories in which they operate. The work carried out by them reached 20,066 people, 17,056 women (85%) and 3,010 men (15%). Knowledge sharing and learning actions reached 9,741 black people (women and men – 74%) and 3,370 non-black (26%).
Indirect Beneficiaries – collective support notice
Among other achievements, Abayomi has achieved: a) greater circulation of information about the black population to subsidize the fight against racism; b) strengthened communities and the broadening of the debate on the conditions of black women in the context of the pandemic; c) maintained the articulation with different activists and organizations, including the Aya Minicourse.
Ginga promoted: a) training of women working in social movements and leaders of entities for women, especially black women; b) training in the preparation of social intervention projects in Salvador and metropolitan region; c) the course promoted by Ginga was adapted to the remote format, due to the pandemic of Covid-19, making it possible to reach entities from the interior of the state.
The Black Women’s Network of Pernambuco organized: a) political training processes to increasingly qualify their own activities and support the emergence of other leaders and references; b) political training process with women of the entities Espaço Mulher e Cidadania Feminina and executed a project collectively for the first time; c) the awakening of leadership in their leaders, who overcame the fear of working virtually, handling digital platforms.
The projects conceived by the organizations, groups and collectives of black women supported by the Black Women’s Leadership Acceleration Program: Marielle Franco indirectly benefited 20,505 people, at different stages of the life cycle, inside and outside the country, living in urban and rural areas, with or without access to formal education. These, of course, will have the power to influence many others, from the relationships that have been established and from the knowledge they have managed to achieve.
Sulamita Rosa da Silva, graduated in Pedagogy and Master’s degree in Education from the Federal University of Acre (Ufac) and phD student in Education from the University of São Paulo, was awarded the individual support notice of the Black Women’s Leadership Acceleration Program: Marielle Franco. Leader of the Women’s Network – Network of Formations for Black, Afro Indigenous and Indigenous people of Acre, demonstrates his gratitude for the support received: “I shared learning and knowledge in the form of courses, events, podcasts, publications among others, contributing to the communication and memory of black intellectuals, who contributed so much to the understanding of Brazilian culture in a decolonial way. I also developed podcasts as a way of popularizing scientific knowledge, in addition to beginning to articulate academic writing with black feminist thinking, aiming at an emancipatory and self-defined education. I had a short narrative published in the book – Carolinas: the new generation of Brazilian black writers, the result of the formative process of the Literary Festival of the Periphery (Flup), with 180 black authors from all over Brazil”, he said.
In the notice that selected 63 women and, in the end, had 59 supported, the states of the Northeast (Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte and Sergipe) concentrated the largest number of supported: 26. Supported black female leaders shared learning sprees with more than 500,000 people in their professional, study and militancy networks. Among the people reached are non-binary, transgenic and transvestite people, maroons, migrants, refugees, adults, adolescents, young and old.
Baobab Fund for Racial Equity did a work of analysis and tabulation of data of the Program of Acceleration of Female Leaders: Marielle Franco. For more details, please visit this link.