U.S. Embassy and Consulates recognize eight Brazilian women for their crucial community work

The Awardees are making a positive impact on their communities and serving as inspiration to their fellow citizens

Brasilia, November 23, 2020: The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil have the pleasure to announce the 2020 Brazilian Women Making a Difference Award. The award honors Brazilian women who are making a positive impact on their communities and serving as forces of inspiration to their fellow citizens. The Award honors women who have been working in their communities and beyond to promote economic and environmental initiatives, civic engagement, and to advance the inclusion and rights of migrants and refugees, religious minorities, ethnic minorities, indigenous communities, women with disabilities, and other historically marginalized groups.

“This week of Thanksgiving is the right moment for us to express our gratitude and admiration to these eight amazing Brazilian women, who work tirelessly to support and advance their communities”, stated U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman.

Award winners include women who are on the front lines of local, national, and global challenges, and are working to break down barriers to promote positive change, but may also be women who are working behind the scenes, quietly making a crucial difference in Brazilian society.

The selected winners:

  • Claudinete Cole de Souza, Oriximiná (PA): is the Executive Coordinator of the Association of Remaining Quilombo Communities of the Municipality of Oriximiná (ARQMO). As the first female Executive Coordinator, she works tirelessly to help the communities they represent overcome barriers to securing land titles.
  • Janete Vaz and Sandra Soares Costa, Brasilia (DF): are the co-founders of Sabin, a Brasilia-based biomedical laboratory that has 5,400 employees, 296 locations. Over the past 36 years, they have created an environment that empowers women resulting and have been selected four times as the best place for a woman to work in Brazil.
  • Jeanne Aguiar, Recife (PE): has dedicated more than two decades to improving human rights and ending trafficking in persons (TIP) through her position at the Secretary of Social Defense of Pernambuco, most recently as the head of the nucleus to combat TIP.
  • Jovita Belfort, Rio de Janeiro (RJ): is the first Coordinator for Rio State’s Missing Person’s Department – a department she fought hard for many years to create.
  • Judge Jacqueline Machado, Campo Grande (MS): is one of Brazil’s leading advocates for protecting women from domestic violence.
  • Major Karla Lessa, Belo Horizonte (MG): is the helicopter pilot who hovered for seven minutes just feet from a rushing, deadly mud slide to orchestrate a complicated rescue after the devastating 2019 Brumadinho dam collapse.
  • Nadine Anflor, Porto Alegre (RS): is the first woman to rise to the rank of Chief of the Civil Police in Rio Grande do Sul, overseeing a massive organizational structure including thousands of civil police officers, investigators, and local precinct chiefs.

To learn more about the winners and the initiative, please visit: The Winners of the 2020 Women Making a Difference Award.

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For further information on this Press Release, please contact the U.S. Embassy Press Office in Brasília at BrasiliaEMBEUA@state.gov or on (+55 61) 3312 – 7367 / 7350 / 7364. Follow us on Twitter and Flickr.