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Building Together Team
Our Story, Our Mission

The Building Together Research Collective's mission is to bring voice and legitimacy to "knowledge from the periphery," or knowledge and ways of seeing the world of people generally excluded from academic spaces: people of color, low-income populations, people without formal education, and citizens of historically colonized countries. We accomplish this by creating partnerships between universities and people in poor urban neighborhoods to facilitate data collection and analysis, the construction of social theory, and the dissemination of findings through a collaborative, dialogical process with an emphasis on social justice.


The Building Together Research Collective was founded in 2019. Its first seeds were laid with a community survey conducted in 2017 in Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro. The survey employed a Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology to gather quantitative data on the issues of greatest concern to its residents. Cidade de Deus is widely considered a "favela," or informal settlement, and struggles with high levels of poverty, violence and informality. Its residents overwhelmingly identify as Black or pardo (mixed-race). The neighborhood has been the subject of research for decades, though rarely have its residents been consulted on what issues mattered to them or how the research should be executed and interpreted. Survey questions documented the challenges that residents face in accessing social development, including health, education, housing, transportation in a context of armed conflict and government neglect. It also examined some of the strategies that residents employ to survive, adapt, and engage politically to overcome these challenges. The survey project was so well-received by the neighborhood that we decided to become a research center, to execute other research projects that return the power of research to residents.


The Building Together Research Collective has several goals:

1. To collect data on The City of God and other urban peripheries in collaboration with community residents.

2. To disseminate the data in an inclusive way, which positions the research subjects as authors.

3. To bring the diverse voices of the urban periphery into the academy and other research spaces.

4. To create bonds and partnerships between academics and peripheral communities.


Our Team


Cristiane Martins

Social Worker, Casa de Santa Ana, Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro


Anjuli Fahlberg, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA

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Mirian Andrade

Operations Director, A Semente da Vida, Cidade de Deus,

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


Lidi Santos

Prof. de Ciências Biológicas, Coordenadora do Projeto Eco Rede/Alfazendo, Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


Ana Claudia Araujo

Graduanda em Serviço Social 

Coordenadora Pré Vestibular Instituto Arteiros, Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


Joiceane Eugenia Lopes

Pedagoga e graduanda em Letras. Educadora Social. Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

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Jacob Portela

Data Analyst, Fundação Osvaldo Cruz, Farmaguinhos, Rio de Janeiro

Guilherme Baratho

Social Worker, Casa de Santa Ana, Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro

Sophia Costa

Graphic Designer, Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro

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Ricardo Fernandes

Graphic Designer, Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro

André Pacheco

Graphic Designer, Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro

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Research Assistants

Marcelo Magano, Elielson Freitas, Luciene Inez Costa, Carla Siccos, Geraldo dos Santos, Wagner Marins, Priscila Alves, Jórica Vouzella, Wagner Ramos, Atilane Caetano, Jessica Telles, Gabriela Bruno, Selma Araújo, Patrick Sonata, Ingrid Siss

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