Gaia Hefti

Gaia Hefti

Gaia is the advocacy officer in Geneva and coordinates the advocacy activities before international human rights mechanisms in Geneva, Switzerland.

Prior to joining Race and Equality, Gaia worked with the Mexican Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the democratic space unit, where she focused on the monitoring of abuses against human rights defenders, journalists and during peaceful protests. Additionally, she worked in different local and international human rights organization on human rights education, particularly on international human rights mechanisms, in Chile, Germany and Switzerland.

Gaia holds an Msc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in International Studies with a specialization in the Latin Americana region form Leiden University.

Camilo Tovar

Camilo is responsible for designing and carrying out Race & Equality’s advocacy strategy before the European Union (EU) institutions and its different bodies.

Prior to joining Race & Equality, Camilo has worked for European and Latin American NGO networks, implementing advocacy strategies towards the EU with the aim to promote a human rights-based approach in its relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. As a consultant he has facilitated strategic planning and project design processes for civil society organizations, conduct research, policy analysis and drafting of studies. He was also advisor on international affairs and cooperation for the Ministry of Culture of Colombia.

Camilo holds a BA in Economics from Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia, and an Advanced Master in European Integration and Development from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium.

Ana Carolina Mattoso

Ana Carolina Mattoso is a lawyer and, in Race and Equality, works as LGBTI Officer in Brazil in articulation with the regional LGBTI Program.

Ana Carolina holds a PhD in Law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Her main areas of interest are Law and Race Relations, Decolonial Feminism and intersectionalities of race, gender and sexuality. She is a professor at the Department of Law at PUC-Rio, a researcher, speaker and conducts training on racial and gender diversity in several institutions.

Paolla Moura

Paolla handles all communications work for our work on LGBTI rights in Brazil and supports the implementation of our region-wide communications strategy.

Before joining us, Paolla worked in the field of public relations, particularly in cultural and business promotions. She has focused her past work as a journalist and communications specialist on the topics of race, gender, and intersectional feminism, especially the development of Afro-descendant identity and consciousness for social movements seeking racial and gender justice.

Paolla is trained as a journalist and holds a master’s degree in Culture and Territory from Universidad Federal Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil)

Mariah Rafaela Silva

Mariah Rafaela Silva (she/her) is a black transgender woman and lives in the periphery, graduated in art history at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. She holds a master’s degree in history, theory and criticism of culture at the State University of Amazonas and a PhD in Communication at the Fluminense Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Mariah has more than 13 years of experience with civil and social rights movements and organizations. She studied Gender and Migration at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and did field research during her masters at the International Slavery Museum. As an activist, teacher and researcher, her subjects of study focus on violence and the production of subjectivity in the global south, racism and LGBTIphobia in the social media, promotion of human rights in favela territories, art and sociology, and digital citizenship for LGBTI black persons. Her research led her to develop studies and works in England and in the Amazon region of Brazil.

Mariah is the author of several publications in Brazil and abroad, in the most varied fields of knowledge, such as the arts, culture, pedagogy, sociology, philosophy and, mainly, in the field of promoting the human rights for black and LGBTI persons.

Leilane Reis

Leilane works with the strengthening of Brazilian organizations to combat racism and gender violence, and to promote and defend human rights at the national and international levels.

Leilane is a lawyer, with a master´s degree in law and public policies. She has experience in criminal law. Before joining Race and Equality, she has worked to combat violence against women, and also as a legal assistant in supporting refugee and refugee seekers.

She is currently working on her Ph.D. at PUC/Rio, where she is researching environmental migrations and refuge. She is also a researcher on human rights, forced displacement, extractivist, and environmental justice, with a focus on race and gender.

Nathaly Calixto

Nathaly Calixto (she/her) serves as the Brazil Program Officer and is located in the Washington DC office. Her role involves representing the Brazil office at an institutional level in DC and advocating for our partners, effectively elevating their concerns to the highest levels of human rights protection. She actively engages with influential stakeholders, such as the US Congress, State Department, the OAS, and prominent human rights organizations with a regional and global impact.

Nathaly is a lawyer specializing in International Politics and Human Rights, with a Master’s in Political Science and International Relations from NOVA University of Lisbon, and SciencePo-certified in International Migration. She has worked in Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Portugal, conducting research in the fields of migration, international politics and human rights.

Rodnei Jericó da Silva

Lawyer and Coordinator of the Race and Equality Brazil Program. Rodnei is responsible for managing the projects, programs and strategic alliances of Race and Equality in Brazil.

For 23 years he acted as lawyer and coordinator of SOS Racism of Geledés – Black Women’s Institute. He has a postgraduate study in Human Rights from the University of São Paulo (USP), postgraduate in Human Rights and International Law from the Advocates Training Program at Columbia University (NY), also a postgraduate in Civil Law and Civil Procedural Law. Litigator with vast experience in the defense of the rights of the Black population. Since 2001, he has been acting before the International Human Rights Protection Systems, both in the Inter-American Human Rights System and the Universal Human Rights System.

Luz Mateo Cielo

Luz implements the communication strategies of the LGBTI Program working with staff and activists in the region to promote the LGBTI+ work of Race and Equality and our partners.

Previously, she worked as a consultant in the area of communications for various feminist non-governmental organizations such as the Estudio por la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer(DEMUS), Movimiento Manuela Ramos, and Lesbianas Independientes Feministas Socialistas(LIFS), all dedicated to the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and LGBTI+ and gender diverse people.

She has experience carrying out communication campaigns for political and social advocacy incoordination with independent activists, groups, and civil society organizations. Among her most prominent campaigns is #LesbianasCedaw and Generación Z; the first was part of a coalition of human rights organizations and the second, part of a project by UNICEF, Promundo, and Movimiento Manuela Ramos.

Luz has a B.A. in Journalism and Communication from the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC).

Angélica Ricaurte

Angélica is a consultant for the Legal Program for Colombia of the Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights. Collaborates with strategic litigation actions before the Inter-American Human Rights System (SIDH) and the Universal System, and supports the Racial Justice line of the Institute in Colombia through national and international advocacy actions and the strengthening of the capacities of organizations of Afro-Colombian civil society.

Before joining Raza y Igualdad, Angélica worked as a consultant on human trafficking in Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia for the Justice Education Society and as a Latin America Advisor for the Minority Rights Group. She has been a legal and human rights advisor to various territorial entities in Colombia and a Young Researcher for the Colombian Ministry of Science and the Colombian Caribbean Observatory. She was also an intern at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse Public Defense Office in Indiana, United States.

Angélica graduated as a lawyer from the University of Cartagena and has an LL.M. from Pennsylvania State University with a concentration in race and equity studies which she completed as a Fulbright scholarship recipient. She has been an opinion columnist in Colombia and a speaker at various national and international conferences on human rights, receiving recognition and distinctions for her research work.

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