women with garra awards

Why honor brazilian women?

Brazilian immigrant women and, more broadly, Latinx women, continue to face significant barriers to career achievement and are severely underrepresented in leadership roles. They must overcome a laundry list of systemic problems in addition to gathering the skills necessary for the jobs they want. They have to be fierce every day in the pursuit of their objectives.

We implemented an award for Brazilian immigrant women because we understand how much they had to overcome to occupy the spaces they now own, and we are grateful that they use that power to bring about collective change. Each woman here is a revolution and we hope each story inspires the next immigrant woman to continue moving forward in forging her own path.

women with garra awards 2019

The Women With Garra Awards were created to recognize the value and the contributions of Brazilian immigrant women to the community, while highlighting their successes to inspire a new generation.

 

There are many immigrant women who are transforming their stories of resilience to build a more collaborative, stable and successful community. The purpose of the award is to highlight the ability that we all have to build a legacy of engagement and success for ourselves and for our communities, so that we each might be encouraged to bring about transformative change. 

 

Our first cohort of awardees is made up of immigrant women who have build resilience through life experience, redefined success for themselves beyond what society thought it was acceptable for them, and are changing the world though their work in the community.  They portray the extraordinary drive and garra endemic of the immigrant woman and serve as a reminder to us all that we too, have garra.

 

 The 2019 awardees were Ana Oliveira, CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation, Ingrid Silva, ballet dancer with Dance Theater of Harlem, Tatiana Ribeiro, gourmet restaurant chef and Nathalia Narciso, board chair of Garra.  We featured their stories in our first book, Women With Garra 2019.

“I am very proud to be an immigrant, but unfortunately it is a subject that has become very political. Today it is part of a system of domination by white racial supremacy that should never exist. And the more this system makes systematic attacks on immigrants, the more I find it important to say that I AM AN IMMIGRANT.”

Ana Oliveira 

CEO, New York Women’s Foundation

“I would never have imagined that this skinny girl from the Benfica community would be stirring a revolution as a black woman, and as an immigrant. I occupy this space that few women occupy, but I will always focus on ways so that all of us can grow together”.

Ingrid Silva

bailarina do Dance Theater of Harlem

 

“How many people are alone and don´t know the available options, and because of this, end up not investing in their dreams? I was there for my sister but many other people don’t have someone else to ask for help.”

Nathalia Narciso, 

Board Chair, Garra

“There’s a much bigger force that’s kept inside of us, we just need to find it. Does it hurt? Yes, very much so. It hurts every day you wake up and feel that you are not where you belong. It hurts because sometimes you want to stay in bed and have to get up, because if you don’t, no one will for you. New York strengthens me every morning”. 

Tatiana Ribeiro,

restaurant chef

women with garra the book

This is the first Women With Garra (Grit) book. A bilingual book that is made by immigrant women, features the stories of immigrant women, and seeks to inspire the next generation of immigrant women. 

As we face the daily microaggressions handed to us by the likes of racism, gender discrimination, xenophobia and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and as we dedicate so much of our time to build the women we want to become, let us find hope and solace in these pages. 

When the world tells us to become smaller, quieter, and to conform, let’s follow the example set forth by our Women With Garra and do the opposite. Let’s choose to allow our light to shine brightly and live our lives with unbound courage, like Ingrid Silva. Let’s remember the wise words of Tatiana Ribeiro, “Great strength comes from within,” as we radically move toward the systemic change we envision.

 

Let’s occupy political spaces irrespective of our immigration status, like Nathalia Narciso. And let’s remove barriers to economic access, academic achievement, political participation, for not just our Brazilian immigrant community, or people like us, but for everyone fighting to survive oppression, like Ana Oliveira. 

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©2020 by Garra BR.