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Friday, January 18, 2013

D.E.F. Presents Its GOOD Awards

Members of the DEF board pose with five students who graduated from two of three DEF-beneficiary schools (the Botwsana Top Achievers Program or African Leadership Academy) and who now are enrolled in various universities in the United States.

The Diamond Empowerment Fund, a non-profit organization that raises money to fund education initiatives in African diamond-producing nations, presented its GOOD Awards to Tiffany & Co. and Leo Schachter Diamonds, and international model and humanitarian, Noella Coursaris Musunka, during a recent event at LAVO nightclub.

 Five students who directly benefited from scholarships funded by DEF at two of its three beneficiary schools in Africa were presented with checks at the event.

Russell Simmons, entertainer/entrepreneur and DEF co-founder, emphasized the importance of the diamond industry to give back and empower the communities where their precious resources are found. “A strong Africa is an educated Africa. For the diamond industry to be sustainable in the future, empowerment of youth through education is essential.”  

Celebrities at the event included Estelle, Jeffrey Wright, and Selita Ebanks. Jewelry global industry leaders in attendance included Varda Shine and Stephen Lussier of De Beers, Mike Kowalski of Tiffany & Co., Mark Light and Mike Barnes of Signet Jewelers, and African ambassadors from the diamond producing countries of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. 

The event began with an African ceremonial dance by native Batswana dancers. After the Awards presentation, Grammy Award-winning artist, Estelle, performed. 

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