Postcards from Brazil: Trio works to promote sports accessibilityBy Brian Canever, CSPS March 15, 2015
Every year, the emerging leaders of the Global Sports Mentoring Program take lessons they learned working with American executives back to their home countries, with plans to positively change their communities through sports.
Three of these alumnae, Cassia Damiani (class of 2012), Daniela Castro (2013) and Paula Korsakas (2014), have teamed together to improve sports accessibility and opportunities for girls and women in Brazil.
I traveled with program partners from the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society to Sao Paulo, Brazil, last week to catch up on the progress of the trio. The week was filled with panels and meetings with local leaders and government representatives, and the three were reunited with mentors from the program, who also participated in the week’s panels.
Here are a few snapshots of some of the inspiring moments from the trip:
March 8: Paula Korsakas and a group of basketball players celebrate the second Women’s Pick-Up Basketball Game at Ibirapuera Park on International Women’s Day. Korsakas (bottom right) helped organize the event with friends and former students, who shared stories of being bullied off the courts and wanted to reclaim park space for women.
March 9: Cassia Damiani, a director within the Ministry of Sports, speaks at a meeting of REMS, the Sports for Social Change network in Brazil, in the ministry’s Brasilia office. It was the first time in the country’s history that representatives from government, business and civil society came together to discuss women’s sport policy.
March 10: Daniela Castro facilitates a meeting between businesswomen and representatives of women’s empowerment networks at the offices of Google Brasil. Castro was joined by center co-directors Sarah Hillyer and Ashleigh Huffman, as well as program mentors Julie Eddleman of Google and John Lisko, Joan Coraggio and Gwen Conley of Saatchi & Saatchi LA.
The trip culminated with a summit on March 12 where the emerging leaders and mentors spoke about the importance of continuing their work to ignite social change in the country. We’ll reflect on that in a feature to come.