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The Sankofa Research Group "Racism, Social Policy and Transgressions in African Diaspora" , emerged from the professor's research work of professor Dr. Gracyelle Costa (ESS/UFRJ) and brings together people from different areas interested in the subject.


 ​Our objective is to investigate the relationship between eugenics, racism, and social policy in the 20th and 21st centuries. At the same time let us identify the resistance, and transgressions collectively built by black communities in the Diaspora in the past, present, and future.


 To this end, GPSankofa carries out teaching, research, and extension activities, involving people interested in the subject. ​

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Research lines:

  1. Eugenics and racism: State, work, social policy and professional practice

  2. Social Movements and State: Affirmative Actions and Social Policy 

  3. Teaching transgress: critical training, technologies and pedagogical strategies 

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I am a professor at the Department of Social Policy (DPSS-ESS)

from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro ( UFRJ ) in Brazil.

I have a bachelor's degree, master's degree, doctorate and post-doctorate in Social Work.

In 2022 and 2023 I was a visiting researcher at the Afro-Latin American Research Institute of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University to develop research initiated in

PUC São Paulo. And in 2019 and 2020, I was on a sandwich doctorate at

University of Texas , also in the United States.

In 2021 I won the Capes Thesis Prize for the best doctoral thesis

of Brazil in my area, Social Service.

With more than 3,000 downloads, the thesis "Race and nation at the origin of Brazilian social policy: union and resistance of black workers" has been considered a paradigm shift in studies on the country's social policy .

Find out more about my career at

Visit my Lattes CV

Prof. Dr. Gracyelle Costa

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Gracyelle Costa is one of the recipients of the Women who Inspire Us Award - 2nd Edition.

This is a reference action for activists and groups that inspire us through their work in search of social justice, equality and respect for diversity.

Gracyelle Costa is a PhD Professor at the Department of Social Policy at UFRJ.


In 2023 she was an Afro-Latin researcher at Harvard and in 2021 she was awarded by Capes with the title of best doctoral thesis in Brazil in the area of Social Service with a thesis on race, eugenics and nation and the origins of Social Policy in Brazil



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