Thank you so much for being here tonight to mourn and protest the brutal assassination of Marielle Franco.1 A special thanks to our Smith student, Marcela Rodrigues Guimarães, who emailed some of us last weekend and infected us with her passion, mobilizing faculty and other students to gather here tonight. Marcela invited me to share a bit about how Marielle’s assassination fits into a much larger picture of transnational contexts of racism, state-sanctioned violence, and black women’s struggle for liberation.

I could not be talking about Marielle under the current circumstances in any other way but from a place of vulnerability, or, as a student of mine once said, my moment of strength. And that is one of the things that transpired in Marielle all the time—one of the reasons why people connected with her leadership: she spoke from those vulnerable places of herself, from which the only thing...

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