Scarritt Fund Projects

The following projects have been supported by the Scarritt Fund:


An investigation of Rio de Janeiro's NGOs that teach dance, film, theater, digital production, and other arts to young people from Rio's poorest and most violent neighborhoods with the goal of assessing how dynamic artist expression , often viewed as an apolitical luxury of the First World, may play a central role in development. This research resulted into an honors thesis in Development Studies presented in December'07.


An examination of public opinion and popular responses to the violence that currently plagues the city of Rio de Janeiro through a series of interviews with academics, NGO leaders and the Commission on Human Rights of the Order of Brazilian Lawyers (OAB). This research became part of an honors thesis in Latin American Studies presented in May'08.


Internship with the "Cinema Nosso" NGO in Rio de Janeiro, which uses film to connect poor urban youth to training in media skills and access to the arts job market.


Through collaboration with the Brazilian NGO Cinema Nosso, Hope High School and Brown University, Harrison and Yarbrough will develop a series of workshops to provide basic technical skills in audio-visual work to at-risk youth in Rio de Janeiro while exploring storytelling through film as a method for engaging and empowering them to pursue their own social and educational development. The ultimate goal is to produce a documentary based on Cinema Nosso's impact on their lives.


Travelled to Rio de Janeiro in January 2009 in order to try her hand as a freelance journalist. The result was an approximately thousand-word business article published in the Miami Herald on January 26, 2009.


Travelled to Rio de Janeiro to spend the summer of 2009 interning at the Instituto de Estudos do Trabalho and Sociedade (Institute for the Study of Labor and Society), a multi-disciplinary non-profit organization known for its research on poverty and social inequality. IETS serves as a connection between academic research, public policy, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.


Participated in an internship at Adami Advogados Associados, in Rio de Janeiro, an internationally acclaimed law firm committed to human rights, civil rights, racial equality, workers' rights and the environment.


Participated in a research internship with Conectas Direitos Humanos, in São Paulo. Conectas sponsors visits to Brazil by human rights activists from Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde. Joshua worked directly with the Conectas exchange program, while also pursuing research of his own design, presented as a culmination of his internship project.


Participated in an engineering internships with Metalfran, a company in Volta Reddonda, Brazil, which specializes in making structures from metal, aluminum, steel and glass for such companies and Peugeot, Volkswagen and regional Brazilian hotels. Francisco worked directly with the CEO, helping plan, budget and organize projects, while also assisting with the manufacturing of products. He aso observed other fields of engineering at a local technical school.


Travelled to Salvador and Rio de Janeiro with the African-American Baptist Church of Brown University as neutral observers to Brazilian culture and society. They observed how ethnic diversity within the community, and differences in religion and culture have resulted in differential development of the community. Interacted with communities of different faiths (Baptist, Candomble, Umbanda, Catholic, etc.) and investigated contemporary racial definition conditions within religious institutions. Their work included visiting religious institutions such as Rosário dos Pretos, Igreja de Batista de Garça de Esperanca, Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus, Igreja Batista de Itapoã, Igreja de Batista de Ipanema and cultural events such as the Lavagem do Bonfim.


Spent three months in Rio de Janeiro interning with Catalytic Communities, a nonprofit that works to train, assist, and advocate for community leaders and entrepreneurs within the city's favelas, and reported his observations on the RioOnWatch website. 


Traveled to Brazil in order to conduct research for her honors thesis, which focuses on the personal narrative of Maria Auxiliadora Lara Barcelos (known as Dora), a guerilla fighter and activist during the military regime (1964-1985), as a way to understand the complexities of the resistance against the regime. The investigation centers on two questions: What does Maria Auxiliadora’s story say about the guerilla resistance in the 1960s-1980s? What are the implications of Brazil’s Truth Commission for the role and memory of the guerilla movement?


Internship at a media production company called Giros, under the supervision of Brown alumnus Adam Stepan'89. His main project there, done in conjunction with the Columbia University Global Center in Rio de Janeiro, was to develop the online (and video) components to a hybrid educational program that would allow professors from Columbia's School for International and Public Administration (SIPA) to train Brazilian public servants. In addition, I contributed to a market study of the Brazilian public sector that demonstrated the need for such a program in Brazil.


Spent the summer of 2013 in. the city of Altamira, Pará where she conducted sociological research on the relationship between the construction of the Belo Monte dam and the Altamira fishing community as part of a group led by Professor Leah Van Wey.


As part of his honors thesis research, Mateus spent the summer of 2013 in Brazil interviewing people involved with the Instituto Liberal. The institute began in the late 1970s by Brazilian businessman named Donald Stewart. He was interested in the ways that the institute assisted in dissemination neoliberal policies throughout Brazil. He also established contact with professors at the University of São Paulo for further discussions on the intersection of neoliberal economic policies and US foreign policy.


Traveled to Brazil during the 2014 winter break to conduct research for her honors thesis, in which she analyzes the historical role that the circus played in the formation and evolution of Brazil’s cultural identity. As a circus performer herself, she had always been fascinated with anything and everything circus-related. At age sixteen, she embarked on a trip to South America where she spent two months training at a circus school in Chile. There she reflected for the first time on the larger cultural significance of the circus in South America.


Spent three weeks in Rio de Janeiro three weeks in the summer of 2014, working closely with the Arruda family to conduct interviews, collect footage, and digitize photographs in order to document their lives during the 1964-1985 military regime. Their story was one of loss and exile, but also of tireless resistance and political activism. One of the family members, Marcos, was arrested and tortured in 1970 by the regime after having joined the clandestine resistance movement, Ação Popular. In 1971, he was able to escape to the U.S., where he continued his work to fight political oppression (he now lives in Rio). His younger siblings, Mônica, Martinha, and Miguel, also became committed to the struggle for democratization, and from them she learned about the role of women in the resistance, the emergence of the arts as an important place to criticize the regime, the effects of political repression, and the legacy of the dictatorship in terms of current economic inequality in Brazil. The memoir that Marcos Arruda and his mother wrote, titled A Mother’s Cry, is the only account of torture written by Brazilians that has been published in English. For this reason, it is especially important to make sure their story lives on. She completed post-production editing by December 2014.


Traveled to Brazil to conduct research for her thesis on accountability and transparency in Brazilian governance. She met with public civil servants, academic researchers, and civil society actors. She connected especially well with two researchers with whom she worked on an article about the Law of Access to Information.


Traveled to São Paulo during the winter 2015 break to conduct research for her honors thesis in Comparative Literature, part of which focuses on Michel Laub’s recent novel, Diário da Queda. The novel grapples with questions of memory in contemporary Brazil, also investigating the way in which the Holocaust and Alzheimer’s disease complicate the stakes of memory. She met with Mr. Laub and connected with professors in Comparative and Contemporary Literature, Memory Studies and Jewish studies.