‘Citizenship and Democracy in the School’ project in Rio de Janeiro

On June 9, 2022, as part of the Citizenship and Democracy in the School project, members of the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) and its Warren Educational Policies Program (WEPP) and Latin America Program (LAP) visited the state school “Compositor Luiz Carlos da Vila,” located in the neighborhood of Jacaré, in Rio de Janeiro.

During the visit, the AIPG team was accompanied by the Federal Prosecutor, Júlio Araújo, as well as partners from the State Secretary of Human Rights and Social Development and the State Secretary of Education. The overarching goal of the visit was to work with school coordinators on new strategies to improve the implementation of the project. In addition, Mr. Araújo conducted an activity with around one hundred students to teach them about the importance of human rights at school and in their community.

Since the beginning of 2022, the WEPP has been working directly with teachers from different schools in Rio de Janeiro – including “Compositor Luiz Carlos da Vila” – to implement a curriculum that prevents mass atrocities and other forms of violence. AIPG chose the Compositor Luiz Carlos da Vila” school for the visit because it is part of a community that has historically experienced human rights violations and has one of the lowest human development index in the city of Rio de Janeiro. 

AIPG launched the Citizenship and Democracy in School project in 2018 as a pilot rolled out in seven public schools in Brazil – two in the Federal District of Brasilia and five in Sao Paulo. Since then, the project has grown significantly, creating spaces for promoting a pluralistic dialogue based on mutual respect and recognition of diversity within the classrooms of the Brazilian public education system. Its main objective is to counteract and prevent prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination while promoting the participation of young people in the creation of a more tolerant, democratic, and solidarity-minded society.