Police Violence, Memory, and Mobilization in Brazil


Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 4:00pm to 5:00pm


Virtual event, registration required

Join us for the third event in the “What Justice Looks Like” discussion series. The discussion will feature members of Mães de Maio (Mothers of May), a collective of mothers whose children were killed by police in May 2006 in one of the largest police massacres in Brazilian history. Over the past 15 years, Mães de Maio has been a leading voice against police violence against Black and poor youth in Brazil, preserving the memory of victims, helping to mobilize mothers and families, and fighting for policy change. The speakers will share their reflections on 15 years of struggle and lessons for the next generation. 


  • Débora Maria da SilvaMães de Maio and Researcher, Federal University of São Paulo 
  • Maria Sônia LinsMães de Maio
  • Ilza Maria de Jesus SoaresMães de Maio


Moderated by Yanilda González, Assistant Professor, Harvard Kennedy School, and Fernanda Papa, MC/MPA 2021, Ash Center Mason Fellow.


Virtual Event Recording 



Violência policial, memória, e mobilização no Brasil

18 de maio às 17h (Brasil)


Acompanhe-nos para um diálogo com integrantes do Movimento Mães de Maio, mães ativistas cujos filhos foram mortos pela polícia em maio de 2006, em um dos maiores massacres policiais da história do Brasil. Nos últimos 15 anos, Mães de Maio tem sido uma das principais vozes contra a violência policial contra a juventude negra e pobre no Brasil, reivindicando a memória das vítimas, apoiando mães e familiares de vítimas, e lutando por reformas de políticas públicas. Eles vão compartilhar suas reflexões sobre os 15 anos de luta e os aprendizados para a próxima geração. 



  • Débora Maria da SilvaMães de Maio e pesquisadora da UNIFESP
  • Ilza Maria de Jesus SoaresMães de Maio
  • Maria Sônia LinsMães de Maio

Mediação: Prof. Yanilda González e Fernanda Papa, mestranda, Harvard Kennedy School


Registre-se aqui


About the 'What Justice Looks Like' Series 

Protests in cities across the U.S. against racialized police violence, along with mass protest movements from Chile to Colombia to Haiti against long-running structural inequality and exclusion, have demonstrated that policymakers and political leaders routinely remain disconnected from, or actively ignore and silence, the experiences of communities directly harmed by their policies. 

“What Justice Looks Like” takes a perspective of “public policy from below” by centering the voices of those on the ground level of struggles for justice, but traditionally excluded from the halls of power.  This year-long discussion series centers the voices and experiences of activists and communities directly affected by state violence and mass incarceration in trauma-informed conversations about (in)justice, power, resistance, and pathways to racial justice, equity and meaningful change. 

Convened by Assistant Professor Yanilda González. Sponsored by Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Center for Public Leadership, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, and the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at the Wiener Center for Social Policy.