Date: Thursday, November 10
Time: 6 – 8 PM
Place: The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave, Room C-204/C-205
Speaker: The Honorable Jean Wyllys,
Representative in Brazil’s federal Chamber of Deputies
Presented by: Professor James N. Green, Brown University
Jean Wyllys is a Federal Congressman from Rio de Janeiro, representing the Party of Socialism and Freedom. Born in Alagoinhas, Bahia, he originally became famous as the first openly gay participant of the reality show Brazilian Big Brother, where he was the fifth season’s finalist. In 2010, he was elected to Congress. Wyllys was reelected in 2014 with 145,000 votes, the seventh highest result among 46 Congressional representatives elected from the State of Rio de Janeiro. Wyllys has a history of involvement in movements for social justice in Brazil, first as a youth activist in the progressive wing of the Brazilian Catholic Church and later as a partner of the LBGT, Black and Women’s movements in Brazil. As a Federal Congressman, he is one of the most visible national figures in the fight against homophobia, intolerance and religious fundamentalism, the discrimination against Afro-Brazilian religions, slave labor, the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, and violence against women. In 2015, The Economist chose him as one of 50 World Diversity Figures. Wyllys is the author of four books. He is also an Adjunct Professor at UNIRIO, Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM) and the Universidade Veiga de Almeida (UVA).
His appearance at CUNY is part of a tour of several universities in the United States, sponsored by the Brazil Initiative at Brown University. He will address the current political situation in inquire into the future of politics, justice, democracy and human rights in Brazil.