Evalina Gomes Dias

2024 IVLP Impact Award Project: Sankofa Centre – Afro-Education, Culture & MemoryPortugal

Evalina Gomes Dias works at the European Parliament, Aga Khan Foundation (Portugal) and Open University. She is an anti-racist activist and tirelessly advocates for the promotion of the human rights of immigrants and refugees. Evalina is a founding member and board president of Djass - Association of Afro-descendants, an anti-racist association that fights for the rights of blacks, Africans and Afro-descendants in Portugal. 

IVLP Impact Award Project: Sankofa Centre – Afro-Education, Culture & Memory

The project is based on the appreciation of African history and culture and the importance of looking at the past to challenge present and future stereotypes. It will offer an alternative education and training to current official school curricula, with an emphasis on a comprehensive and decolonized view of African history. 

The Sankofa Centre will be a welcoming, physical space where five in-person training sessions on African history and culture will be held for educators and their students. Participants will be provided with new narratives about the history of Portugal and its interactions with African people and those in the diaspora. The project will stimulate discussions regarding competing historical narratives about the occupied territories of former Portuguese colonies and encourage new points of view while highlighting and deepening the representation of African and Afro-descendant people in Portuguese society."

“By promoting critical thinking and the creation of new narratives, the project will contribute to a more inclusive and just world where all voices and perspectives are valued.” - Evalina Gomes Dias 

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Evalina participated in the IVLP Project Afro-Descent Museum Development and Management organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center, in partnership with Georgia Council for International Visitors, Charleston Council for International Visitors, and the New York Program Branch.  

Evalina’s exchange experience led to the development of her project: “During my visit to [New York City’s] Schomburg Center, I learned about the community development work carried out with young people in Harlem, living in the center's area. The fact that the Schomburg Center is associated with a public library gave me the basis to think about how education and community work can be combined in an underprivileged area of the city.”

“The best practices and knowledge learned [during my IVLP] had a great impact on the design of my project…such as teaching African history before slavery and colonization systems and developing community work with young people from disadvantaged urban areas.” – Evalina Gomes Dias 

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Atlanta, GA; New York City, NY; Charleston, SC 

Country: Portugal

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