By Paulo Alas Rossi, 2017-2018 President Néstor Kirchner Fellow
To be a President Néstor Kirchner Fellows means to be invited to step away from one’s daily activities and reflects about one’s academic and professional trajectories. It is a time for learning, developing self-knowledge, and to reaffirm your commitment to social justice in your country.
From the moment the participants are selected, the Observatory on Latin America (OLA) team will make all necessary efforts to provide each fellow a tailor-made program to make the most of their stay at The New School in New York City.
As a fellow, I had the opportunity to interview representatives from NGOs, civil servants and world-renowned researchers from The New School and other institutions such as New York University (NYU) and the Pratt Institute, with extensive experience in the field of social housing and urban development. Besides expanding my technical knowledge, the interviews provided a fascinating and enriching experience, where each interviewee shared parts of his or her life’s journey.
The program culminated in a public lecture at the unforgettable Orozco-room, where I presented some challenges faced by the Brazilian federal social housing program and shared my professional experience. The comments of the audience and especially the members of The New School contributed greatly to a high-level, in-depth debate with suggestions and new perspectives that I intend to incorporate into my future studies.
After two intense weeks, I returned to Brazil proud to be a fellow of the President Néstor Kirchner Fellowship, with a valuable network of contacts and grateful for the way I was welcomed by the OLA team and the students and scholars of The New School. Above all, as a public servant, I return more motivated and committed to the promotion of social justice in Brazilian cities.
Brazil, November 2017