International Trends and Services
International Trends focuses on descendants of 10-15 million descendants of individuals from Africa forced into slavery in the Caribbean, Central America and Latin America. The Chapter has elected to focus on Brazil which received 5 million of the individuals forced into slavery and to compare the impact of that servitude on Brazil as compared with the 500,000 individuals that became enslaved in the United States. Activities fostered by the chapter included an introductory lecture by Dr. Antonio Tillis, a scholar with extensive experience in Latin America on the African descendants at the Museum for Human and Civil Rights in Atlanta. Dr. Tillis also lectured to students at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School and shared information about civil rights, culture and food. Students received gifts and maps, provided by the Brazilian Consulate in Atlanta and by Brazilian citizens in Atlanta. Among other things, participants learned of Brazilians citizens advocating for the rights of African Americans with a specific focus on Ferguson, Missouri. An overarching goal is to encourage intercontinental and inter-agency collaboration and advocacy.
In 2016-2017, the Chair and Co-Chair of the International Trends Facet attended the celebration of “100 Years of Samba” at the invitation of the Ambassador from Brazil, Ambassador Maria Dela Frota (December 2016). Signature activities for the current year include the attendance by Atlanta Chapter Links and their family members at the Ba’le Fol’clorico da Bahia at the Rialto Theatre for immersion into the music and dance in the Afro-community in Bahia, Brazil. A following event on March 18th will include a formal introduction to the music, dance, and foods of Brazil. This event, to be held at the Auburn Street Library is open to all Links Chapters in the metro Atlanta area and to the Atlanta community at large at no charge.
The vision is to ultimately support a transformative program in Bahia or Rio that will have a legacy impact. Likely programs are language training or career visioning to enable those that are Portuguese speakers only to become fluent in English and to imagine futures that are not currently on their radar. A concomitant program will be to offer training in Portuguese for children that are engaged in the Project LEAD program that is sponsored by the Atlanta Chapter.
Team building has been a core component of program and has consisted of working with the Books for Africa program that provides books and educational materials for children and adults at every educational level in Africa. Team building has been a core component each year and may vary, depending on the activities available.