D.E.F to outlines powerful program for Diamonds Do Good Awards gala

 D.E.F to outlines powerful program for Diamonds Do Good Awards galaThe Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) has outlined awarding three leading personalities at its “Diamonds Do Good” Awards gala set for June 4. The Gala will be held at the Four Seasons Ballroom in Las Vegas.

The International Vanguard Award will be given to acclaimed actor and social justice advocate David Oyelowo. Mrs Graça Machel, former first lady of both Mozambique and South Africa will receive the first-ever “Diamonds Do Good” Global Humanitarian Award and iconic retailer Helzberg Diamonds will receive the Corporate Legacy of Philanthropy Award.

The International Vanguard Award reflects David Oyelowo’s visionary work in the arts and in the education of vulnerable girls in Nigeria. Mr. Oyelowo’s acting achievements celebrate leading historical personalities such as Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights activists in the film Selma and, most recently, Sir Seretse Khama in the film A United Kingdom, where Oyelowo’s performance highlights Botswana’s role as a leading diamond-producing nation and how diamonds are used to benefit the country and its people.

Mr. Oyelowo’s own passion towards social justice is represented in his work with the GEANCO Foundation and the David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls, which provides opportunity for young Nigerian girls to become the next leaders in their community and their country.

GraçaMachel, a social and political activist for 40 years, has been the First Lady of Mozambique when married to Samora Machel from 1975 until his death in 1986; and later the First Lady of South Africa from 1988 to 1999, when married to Nelson Mandela. She is the Founder of the Graça Machel Trust focusing on women’s economic and financial empowerment, education, food security and nutrition, and promoting democracy and good governance. She was appointed Minister for Education and Culture at the age of 29 years. Upon her retirement from the ministry, she was appointed an expert of the UN Secretary General and was responsible for producing the groundbreaking report on the protection of children in armed conflict. She was made a British dame for her humanitarian work and was recently been appointed as a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate. The Graça Machel Trust works to amplify the voices of Africa’s women and children. The Trust recently launched two pan-African Initiatives: the Women Advancing Africa Forum and the Women in Media Network.

D.E.F’s “Diamonds Do Good” Corporate Legacy of Philanthropy Award celebrates the actions a company’s takes to better the lives of the local community while making a difference on the global stage. For over 100 years, Helzberg Diamonds has epitomized this ideal. Barnett Helzberg’s good business skills and sense of community responsibility helped grow his Kansas City-based jewelry stores even during the Great Depression, when his ‘Helzberg Sweetheart Hour’ sponsored radio program provided uplifting entertainment to listeners each week. He provided counseling for the Girl Scouts, support for the Kansas City Zoo, and established the Diamond Council of America. When his son Barnett Jr. took over this tradition continued. Barnett Jr. developed the ‘I am loved’ line and button promotion, which became a hallmark campaign of goodwill sent to celebrity ‘heroes’, military men serving in the Vietnam War, children in hospitals and was eventually translated into more than 11 languages.

Under the leadership of Beryl Raff, in 2012 the company established “Helzberg Helps,” made up of Helzberg Diamonds associates. It leads fundraising efforts and organizes volunteer activities for charitable entities that support the benefit of children and families in need, such as Make-A-Wish, Salvation Army, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and more. Since 2009, Helzberg’s largest charitable efforts have been in support of Make-A-Wish America, helping to grant the wishes of children throughout the country.

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