Geena Levine ‘21
Merrimack students have been creating many new student organizations across campus that promote diversity and inclusion for all students. One of those organizations is the Brazilian Student Association, which is also known as BRASA..
“The Brazilian/latino population on campus is really small, and I think that our culture has a lot of amazing acts to share,” said Pedro Mancini, who decided to form the association along with other Merrimack students. “I have seen some friends at other universities that founded Brazilian organizations and were able to help to increase the amount of Brazilians at their universities, and this is one of my main goals with BRASA.”
Mancini is very passionate about making changes on campus , and he hopes to use this club to promote those changes. . The club, although very new, is planning to hold many events for the campus as a whole.
“At BRASA, our events are going to be divided into three pillars: social, cultural, and professional. All of them are aiming for students or faculty from any nationality, ethnicity, major, et cetera,” Mancini said. “However, the social events we are planning are the ones that are most involved with diversity. For example, we are partnering with other Brazilian student organizations from other universities in order to host a community service event to help the most impacted population in the greater Boston area by the COVID-19, which includes many of the Latinos in the area.”
BRASA’s goal is to help students on campus feel included and supported. In exchange, they would like the student body to get involved in their events and to help the organization grow. The cultural events they plan to hold will allow campus members to learn more about the Brazilian culture by bringing native foods and songs to the campus. They also plan on holding professional events to help all students with things like improving their resumes and professional skills.
“Diversity is about inclusion. Everyone should be able to feel included in any community, and this is BRASA’s goal,” Mancini said.“We are welcome to anyone. It does not matter if you are Brazilian or not. Diversity should be simple, in my opinion, because it is about human rights.”
BRASA is one step closer to making Merrimack’s campus more diverse and a place where everyone can share their views and opinions. While diversity, equity, and inclusion are increasingly prominent issues around the world, the Brazilian Student Association hopes to center those issues at Merrimack.