A Brazilian-American immigrant raised in Danbury, Emanuela Palmares began her service to the city she loves at the age of 15, when she helped the Danbury Public Library provide language services to the community.
Emanuela continues to have a positive impact in her hometown of Danbury and in Connecticut. Her extensive history of service includes working with public and non-governmental organizations; helping Portuguese-speaking victims as a Domestic Violence Victim’s Advocate at the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury; making home visits working with children and families in the Danbury Head Start Program; serving on the Regional YMCA Board, the United Way of Northern Fairfield County Emerging Leaders Council, the United Way of Northern Fairfield County Community Impact Grant Selection Program, and the Danbury Housing Partnership. She also served as Chairwoman of the Association of Religious Communities' Blue Ribbon Commission on Immigrants; a Volunteer Translator at AmeriCares Free Clinic; and volunteer English as a Second Language (ELL) Instructor at the Center for Brazilian Assistance.
Emanuela’s service on the Danbury High School Governance Board reflects her commitment to helping schools and students achieve optimal performance.
In 2013, Emanuela Palmares was appointed Commissioner on the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC), the first Brazilian to serve on this advisory commission to the Governor and the Legislature. As a Commissioner, she served on the Governor’s Emergency Communications Task Force to enhance emergency and non-emergency communications between the State and residents whose primary language is not English. She also served on the Language Acquisition and Educational Equity Workgroup which studied educational outcomes of English Language Learners in CT and made recommendations to the General Assembly.
Her service as a Commissioner and member of the Executive Board is dedicated to promoting health, safety, educational success, economic self-sufficiency, and ending discrimination.
She is a member of the Danbury Aging in Place Council, a group dedicated to providing opportunities for older adults to live safely and independently in the home of their choice.
In 2016, she became a member of the Danbury Hospital Board of Directors.
Ms. Palmares is the author of numerous articles on immigration and the Latino community. She has been an invited speaker at the esteemed Portuguese & Spanish Department of Yale University and the Philosophy & Humanities Department of Western Connecticut State University to speak on the topics The South American Immigrant Experience and Ethnic Media.
She was recognized by Fairfield County Business Journal’s “40 under 40” as one of the best and brightest business leaders under the age of 40. Latinos United for Professional Advancement recognized her as one of the “50 Most Influential Latinos in Connecticut.”
Emanuela is the Editor-in-Chief of Tribuna, a biweekly publication in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Founded by her mother and mentor, Celia Bacelar Palmares, the mission of Tribuna is to build cultural bridges and provide readers with information that connects them with their communities.
She also holds what she refers to as “the most meaningful position of all” – being a mother to her son and the proud daughter of Celia Bacelar and Genilson Palmares, her role models.