The strategic plan outlined here presents concrete steps required for improving a première Center for Brazilian Studies at the University of Washington. The interest in this project stems from a broad coalition of forces – business and government interests in Brazil, the Brazilian heritage community in the Washington, and business, education and civic leaders in the Puget Sound who appreciate that a deeper familiarity with and richer understanding of Brazil is key to this region’s future.
Presently there is a growing realization that Brazil is and will increasingly become one of the major superpowers in the world. It is already the 6th largest economy in the world and is a central economic and political broker to much of South America ; it is geographically the 5th largest country on the planet and therefore controls a tremendous amount of natural resources which places it on the front lines of the battle against global warming and renewable energy; it is a potent social-cultural force given its cultural richness coupled with a media empire; and population wise it ranks 5th internationally.
Brazil is also part of the B.R.I.C, that refers to the countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China that are deemed to all be at a similar stage of newly advanced economic development. Now is the time to start strengthening the relations between Brazil and the Pacific Northwest. The University of Washington with its students and academics could benefit a lot with a deeper understanding of Brazil. Building this bridge now will surely bring future partnerships between Brazilian companies and Universities and the Pacific Northwest Academics and Business.
The Washington, which has a private and non-profit sector that are largely dependent upon and oriented toward global trade, cannot hope to thrive in this century if it remains largely in the dark about Brazil. Thus, the mission of the Center for Brazilian Studies is focused on changing this. Its aim is to fill this large knowledge gap. Its purpose is to elevate the level of Brazilian Studies to be at least on par with the area studies of other world superpowers.
The Center for Brazilian Studies, once adequately funded and staffed, will be one of the première resource centers for Brazil in the U.S. It will stimulate the establishment and growth of Brazilian-related opportunities for students, researchers, teachers, businesses, non-profits and policymakers. 1) At the UW and elsewhere CBS will lobby for issues that affect the study of Brazil. 2) It will help to strengthen the ties among the Brazilian community (4.000 people approximately) through offering Brazilian related events and other opportunities for networking and community building. Thus, through these various venues it will help to close the knowledge gap identified above. We will serve as a reference of Brazil, guiding people in any subject related to Brazil in the state of Washington.
The Center will meet its goals by
Promoting lectures with successful Brazilians working in different areas such as ; entrepreneurship, technology, arts , literature, sustainability, Non Profit organizations etc. In a way to broaden the horizons of people who live in Washington about Brazilian affairs. These lectures could take place at the University of Washington or other venues. This would be fundraising events for the Center.
Organizing workshops where people from the Brazilian government will come and explain the steps of how to start a business in Brazil from abroad.
Increase the number of exchange students , professors, and researchers from the US and Brazil. Increasing the relations between academics, researchers and intellectuals in both countries.
The Center will serve as a reference and offer links, information and resources for people interested in different themes about Brazil. The Center will be the connection for other Universities and agencies interested in promoting exchange programs with Brazil.
Promoting events (happy hour,fundraising,concerts) related to Brazilian traditions/culture to gather the four thousand Brazilians that live today in Washington and share Brazilian culture with the pacific Northwest. We will also promote parties such as Carnival, Saint John celebration, World Cup and Olympic Games. These events will serve to promote Brazil while bring the Brazilian community together.
Offer Brazilian Consular Services at the University of Washington at specific dates since the nearest Brazilian Consulate is in San Francisco. These services would be for Brazilians that need to regulate their documents (passports,birth certificates, marriage certificates) and Americans (visa, travel information,residence).
Help to improve and promote the Brazilian Events that already exist in Washington, like Brasilfest. We will serve as a bridge with Brazil to bring more musicians and attractions to Washington.
Assisting Brazilians who wish to visit this region for business or educational purposes. CBS will assist K-12 teachers who wish to develop their curriculum on Brazil.
Helping businesses by using our connections in Brazil to help with the myriad of issues they may face vis-à-vis exporting and importing, and give them a larger pool of employee candidates who have Portuguese language skills and knowledge of Brazil.
Assisting government officials in making contacts with their peers in Brazil.
Promote a “Brazil week” once a year where Lectures will take place everyday. Each day there will be talks on a variety of subjects. At the end of the week a party will be hosted offering the opportunity for people to meet and network.
Create a Brazilian Portuguese After School Program in Bellevue or Redmond to keep Brazilian expat children in contact with our culture.
Sponsorship and partnership with the Brazilian media shows in Seattle, like Raizes at KBCS-FM and others.
Budget and Financial Estimates
To create a Director and Associate Director of Brazilian Studies, an US$ 2 million endowment is needed. This will allow for a faculty member to be paid roughly 20% more in exchange for assuming the administrative responsibilities of director. CBS realizes that to build this endowment, an individual is required to devote all his/her energies to this project. And so in the short-term we are seeking US$ 60.000 to hire a full-time development specialist to help us to build such an endowment. This would give an individual at least one year to work on building the endowment and at the minimum garnering enough money so that she or he could continue work on building the endowment and creating ways to make the Center for Brazilian Studies sustainable. It is clear that the need for this Center at the University of Washington is widely recognized. But without someone with the resources and time to devote to building the endowment, we are unlikely to make the degree of headway that needs to be made. Such an individual can hold fundraising events, spend the necessary time networking, search for grants, and learn from the strategies of other area studies centers. This so-called Executive Director would report to the Board of Directors. The Executive Director will give the daily energy and hands on mentoring that is critical to the Center’s mission. He/she must be experienced in fundraising, social networking, have a well-rounded understanding of Brazilian academic, cultural, and business environment, and have leadership abilities and interpersonal skills.
Facility, Site and Organizational Structure
CBS is now located in 122 Thomson Hall in The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. It’s website is http://jsis.washington.edu/brazil/. CBS is also at Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, already building the social network necessary for the Center. CBS, as part of the University of Washington, enjoys non-profit status 501(c)(3). Thus, all contributions are considered charitable donations. CBS is currently composing its board of directors which will have about 5-9 members consisted of people with a mixture of business and entrepreneurial experience, government officials, people from the so-called third sector and representatives of area higher education institutions. The Center will be staffed by a Director and Associate Director. The Director will have CEO responsibilities and the Associate Director will be responsible for assisting the Director with development and administrative matters