Kathryn Munt, Alumni Cycle 22 and Alex Faria, Action Mindset Module Director FGV/EBAPE
Since FGV/EBAPE became a partner with the IMPM, hosting the Action Mindset, participants having been meeting with Galpão Aplauso (GA) www.aplauso.art.br in Rio de Janeiro as part of the company or organization visits that occur in all of the modules. At the same time, GA offers the class an action learning afternoon whereby the participants and professors explore matters of diversity and transformative leadership through ‘living the whole project’.
GA was formally established in 2004 by Economist Ivonette Albuquerque from a vision to provide ‘co-constructed’ community-driven professional development and workplace opportunities for low-income young people impacted by the growing violence against the ‘have-nots’ in Rio. In 2009, the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) formed a partnership with GA to increase employment and income through a vocational training program for GA’s participants, using performance activities such as dance and theater, to teach key life skills like cooperation, trustworthiness, and leadership.
The results and success of GA’s pedagogy have received local and global acclaims; they also encouraged FGV/EBAPE and IMPM to co-develop an on-going action learning & research project that enabled GA to become an IMPM ‘faculty’ in 2013. What’s more, these positive results established the seeds for the co-creation of an emerging IMPM Action Learning Lab: Alliance for transformative learning and social justice.
GA is mainly dependent on donations, with only some government support. The dramatic impact of COVID 19 on the Brazilian economy meant cutting some GA programs, and as a result, endangering the lives of participants and their respective families within many communities in Rio. Several IMPM alumni and faculty members decided to take action and do some fundraising for GA through the online event Reimagine the Future. The task involved encouraging as many people as possible to sign up for the event. In return, GA received a percentage of the funds. The total raised was $2,500 USD.
Encouraged by this activity, and in collaboration with the emerging IMPM Lab: Alliance, GA decided to establish an Ambassador role to promote the NGO internationally, which in turn has developed into an action support group involving IMPM alumni and IMPM faculty from around the globe.
A key objective of the group is Communications; i.e., finding and collaborating with relevant platforms, associations, organisations and publications with a reader-base who will be interested in learning about, from and with the work of the NGO, as well as its impact and community development. This activity also helps to ‘spread the word’ about GA in order to encourage sponsorships and action learning engagements from business and industry.
Currently the group is developing a communication piece to describe how GA has renewed itself while facing the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. Like many training and education organisations, GA had to quickly improvise, learn from experience, and adapt to a virtual way, both synchronous and asynchronous, of running its programs. By bringing together their community-driven resilience and determination with smart tools such as Zoom and WhatsApp, the GA team, along with Ivonette’s leadership and support from allies, has been able to reframe its way of managing and has adapted its unique pedagogy to this new context: it has renewed the ethical, entrepreneurial, decolonial and humanistic dimensions which lie at the heart of the programs. What’s more, by taking on the virtual world and the transformative possibilities this brings, GA is now considering expanding and adding new disciplines and programs so as to reach and engage an even more diverse community of young people throughout Brazil and beyond.
A number of other initiatives for social justice and transformative learning are also underway, for example possible alliances with the Minneapolis-based NGO, Juxtaposition Arts and with IMPM.
To find out more about the project please contact Kathryn Munt