Brazil Passes the Act of Racial Equality: Proposed Racial Quotas for University Admissions Are Deleted From the Bill

Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva, president of Brazil, recently signed into law the Act of Racial Equality. The legislation prohibits racial discrimination against the African-Brazilian population, calls for Afro-Brazilian history to be taught in all public schools, and provides legal protection for quilombos, communities founded by runaway slaves. The legislation also makes it illegal for Brazilian Web sites to post racist material.

During debate on the bill in the Brazilian Senate, language was removed that established quotas for admission of black students into state-run universities.

But the legislation does call for the establishment of the Luso-African-Brazilian Integration Federal University in the city of Redencao in northeastern Brazil. The university is expected to enroll 5,000 students. Half of the students will be from Brazil and the other half will be recruited from the Portuguese-speaking nations of Africa.