An EPIC Advantage Program
Earlhamites spent three weeks in the summer of 2018 studying race relations in Brazil as part of a new, funded international travel experiences available to students through the EPIC initiative.
“It was a very eye-opening experience for me,” says Paloma Collazo-Vargas ’19. “Growing up in a bilingual Latino household, I always viewed Brazilians as progressive when it came to issues related to race. What I learned was that there was such a huge disparity between blacks and whites. Afro Brazilians make up a huge percentage of the population and they don’t live in the nice cities. They don’t live in the downtown. They don’t have the same access to education, just like in the United States.”
In Brazil, the group of eight Earlham students explored three cities — Brasília, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro — with professor Cássio Muniz, a visiting professor on Earlham’s faculty in politics. The group studied topics ranging from urban violence to affirmative action and met with local leaders and key influencers in Afro Brazilian communities.
“We had a very diverse group of students from different majors, different backgrounds, even different countries, which added to the experience of navigating a new country and culture,” Muniz says. “Many of the students were traveling outside of the United States for the first time.”