ITAV LA Travels to Brazil for a Transformative, Immersive Educational Experience

Tagged: alumni, Brazil, Bronzeville, celebration, education, events, history, Immersive Education, it takes a village leadership academy, news, school, socialjustice, VLA, vlacademy, world scholars program, WorldScholarsProgram, WSP,

5 minutes, 23 seconds

Chicago, IL – July 8, 2024
It Takes A Village Leadership Academy (ITAV LA) celebrates this year’s impactful journey to Brazil for the school’s 12th Annual World Scholars Program. From June 17th through June 28th students from grades 3 through 8 embarked on a profound and transformative, immersive educational experience of Afro-Brazilian culture, history, and social justice.


Led by passionate educators including Nakisha Hobbs, co-founder of It Takes A Village Family of Schools, the World Scholars Program in Brazil unfolded as a series of enriching experiences that left an indelible mark on our students.


Highlights of the Journey:

Exploring Salvador De Bahia began with the Pelourinho district during the African Center City Tour. Students walked through streets lined with colonial architecture and structures built by enslaved Africans. This experience underscored the resilience and creativity of these communities, inspiring students through the enduring legacy of cultural expression.

At Maos No Couro, students participated in a powerful percussion class, exploring the profound significance of drumming in Afro-Brazilian culture. Led by masterful instructors, this experience symbolized communication, unity, and resistance, resonating deeply with our students as they connected with their shared heritage. Our students left the class with a renewed sense of pride and a deeper understanding of how music can be a bridge to our collective past and a source of inspiration for our future.


A deeply moving experience was the student’s visit to Quilombo de Kaonge, a settlement founded by escaped enslaved Africans. We had the incredible opportunity to learn about natural medicines, make palm oil and cassava flour, dance together, and enjoy a traditional meal. We also discovered that Quilombo de Kaonge is a matriarchal community and had the honor of meeting the Quilombo leader.


A night of cultural enrichment in Salvador is one of many of the standout moments in this immersive cultural experience. Students were enthralled by the Ballet Folklorico of Bahia, which honored the four primary Orishas, and the dynamic Maculelê dance and spirited Capoeira. After the show, we enjoyed dinner at Odaya Restaurant in Pelourinho, savoring Bahia’s rich culinary traditions. The night continued with the vibrant Festival of St. John, where the streets came alive with music, dance, and joyous celebration. This evening left our students with a profound appreciation for Afro-Brazilian culture, and its resilience and beauty.


This visit was significant for our students, drawing parallels to the struggles and triumphs of African American history. Engaging with the community, hearing their stories, witnessing their way of life, and learning about their current efforts for equity was an inspiring and humbling experience. It reinforced the importance of preserving and honoring our history and left us all feeling deeply connected and inspired.


The World Scholars Program at It Takes A Village Leadership Academy is committed to providing transformative educational experiences that empower students to become global citizens and leaders. This journey to Brazil exemplified our mission to cultivate empathy, cultural understanding, and social responsibility among our scholars.


“We are incredibly proud of our students for their engagement and enthusiasm throughout this enriching journey,” said Nakisha Hobbs, co-founder of It Takes A Village Family of Schools. “The World Scholars Program not only broadens their horizons but also deepens their appreciation for global cultures and histories.”


Village Leadership Academy thanks all supporters and sponsors who made this impactful journey possible. For more information about the World Scholars Program and upcoming initiatives, please visit

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