When Brazilian City Councilwoman Marielle Franco was shot and killed in downtown Rio de Janeiro in 2018, her death sparked protests around the world.

Just two days before she was murdered, she denounced the police’s role in the killing of Matheus Melo, a black man who was shot after leaving church. Since her death, people from all over have pressured Brazilian authorities to find those responsible.

But for many Brazilians, Franco’s death was a reminder of how blacks have been silenced and criminalized in the country for decades. Most recently, law enforcement and their use of force in Brazil against black citizens has been referred to as symbolic apartheid.

One example was made clear during preparation for the Olympic Games in 2016. Police were condemned for detaining youths – the majority of them black – from going to Rio de Janeiro’s tourist beaches. As reported in the Independent, hundreds of the city’s youth were arrested despite having not committed any crimes.

In 2003, just 10 years after the Candelaria Massacre, in which eight black boys were killed by off-duty police officers in Rio, Amnesty International warned the international community of the growing numbers of killings by police officers.

Related Post: What It Means To Be Black In Rio de Janeiro 

Despite these issues, there are groups and organizations fiercely working to advocate for social change. Here are four groups you should know about and how they are working to combat racial justice in Brazil:

1. Collective Nuvem Negra is a network of University of Rio de Janeiro alumni and black alumni who share the importance of resistance and the need for black empowerment inside and outside the university.  They work to combat racism and host discussions about black history, and more.

2. The RUA – Anticapitalist Youth is a youth movement and a political organization, which is interested in the most diverse struggles in favor of the youth and the working class. They are fighting for women’s rights, black and LGBTQ rights, and the environment. 

3. #VidasNegrasImportam: Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement in the United States, Vidas Negras Importam is a political-artistic organization that is raising the awareness of society regarding the importance of black lives in Brazil.

4. Amnesty International: Amnesty International, one of the largest largest human rights organizations, continues to use their platform to advocate for racial injustice in Brazil.