Organization Name: Centro de Educação e Defesa dos Direitos do Povo Negro do Pará

Focus Area: Adult Learners
Region: Brazil / Latin America
Sector: Non-Profit
Investment Year: 2023
Centro de Educação e Defesa dos Direitos do Povo Negro do Pará (CEDENPA) is dedicated to promoting the rights and well-being of the Afro-Brazilian population, particularly in the state of Pará and in the Amazon region of Brazil. Created in the early 1980s, it is one of oldest organizations of the Black movement still in operation today.

Why We Invested

CEDENPA plays a fundamental role in mobilizing people, communities, organizations and knowledge in Pará and the Amazon region, especially around a clear vision for Black and Quilombola justice in Brazil. They believe education plays a critical role and is recognized as perhaps the most powerful lever for change, especially against the invisibility of the Black population in the northern region of Brazil. Supporting their advocacy work while Congress outlines a new 10-year National Education Plan (PNE) with guidelines, goals and strategy for the country’s education systems will be pivotal. CEDENPA will lead an advocacy project in the construction of the PNE, ensuring the representation for Black and Indigenous communities.

Pará has the highest percentage of people who identify as Black and Brown of any Brazilian state. These statistics make it impossible to think about the Brazilian Amazon without considering the significant presence of Black folk, many of them young and in vulnerable living conditions. Along with racism, rural Black communities face environmental degradation inflicted by predatory approaches to development. Even so, their struggle — a fight for land rights and against discrimination — has become a powerful movement.
Elza Rodrigues, activist, CEDENPA