Guest Op-Ed: One for All

The following remarks were made by School Committee member Marcony Almeida Barros during the city’s first-ever Brazilian Flag Raising and Brazilian Independence Day Ceremony at Everett City Hall.

Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Obrigado. Bom dia!

 It is a pleasure to be here today. I moved to Everett 21 years ago. When I came to Everett, there wasn’t even half the Brazilian population we have here today.

 But I could never imagine that I would be standing here today as the first Brazilian elected to the School Committee in the City of Everett. I am proud of that, not for myself, but for the community that I represent.

 In the Everett Public Schools, Portuguese is the second most-spoken foreign language in our district. We have one of the largest Brazilian populations in our school district, along with our friends from El Salvador, Haiti, and many other countries.

 In 2018, just to give you an idea about the demographics of the Brazilian population, 10,538 Brazilians were naturalized US Citizens in Massachusetts alone, according to the American Community Survey and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  

 In 2019, half of the foreign-born population from Brazil resided in just three states: Florida, Massachusetts, and California. New Jersey and New York followed.

 Within the top five states, Brazilian immigrants were most concentrated in Broward County, Florida; and second, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. And in Everett, we have one of the largest and most vibrant communities in the state of Massachusetts.

 In our schools – and I am happy to be here joined by our Deputy Superintendent, Kim Tsai – among our newest wave of Family Liaisons that our district recently hired, six are Brazilians.

 That means that we are here as one – as one community. Being here and raising the Brazilian flag doesn’t make me less American. I am Brazilian by birth and proudly American by choice! So, I want to thank the Mayor and Mrs. DeMaria, and all of you for joining me today celebrating the date when we became independent from Portugal. And I hope that we will continue to work together, stand together as one community, and being part of a community that brings so much joy to our schools, our businesses, to our entire city. Happy Independence Day, Brazil! Feliz Dia da Independência! Obrigado, thank you so much!

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