De Beers Group Part-sponsors Diamond Empowerment Fund Gala to Honour Top Actor and First Lady

Primary tabs

De Beers Group Part-sponsors Diamond Empowerment Fund Gala to Honour Top Actor and First Lady

Actor David Oyelowo and South Africa’s former First Lady were honoured at the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s ‘Diamonds Do Good’ awards gala in Las Vegas, part sponsored by De Beers Group.

tweet me:
Congratulations to Graça Machel, David Oyelowo & @Helzberg #Diamonds, honourees at tonight's #DiamondsDoGoodAwards @DeBeersGroup
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 8:30am

CAMPAIGN: De Beers Group's commitment to Society

CONTENT: Article

The glittering awards gala, on 4 June, on the eve of the major JCK Las Vegas jewellery trade show (5-8 June), was set to raise more than US$1 million to help empower diamond mining communities around the world.

More than 400 people, including dignitaries from southern Africa and Canada’s Northwest Territories, attended the event, which featured a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, who inspired the formation of the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F).

David Oyelowo received the International Vanguard Award for his visionary work in the arts and in the education of vulnerable girls in Nigeria. He is best known for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr in the film ‘Selma’ and his role as Sir Seretse Khama in the film ‘A United Kingdom’, where his performance highlighted Botswana’s role as a leading diamond-producing nation and how diamonds are used to benefit the country and its people.

He has displayed a passion for inspiring positive change and social justice through his work with the GEANCO Foundation, which transforms the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Africa, and the newly created David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls, providing opportunities for young Nigerian girls to become the next leaders in their community and their country.

Graça Machel was named as the recipient of the first-ever ‘Diamonds Do Good’ Global Humanitarian Award. She was First Lady of Mozambique when married to Samora Machel from 1975 until his death in 1986 and later became First Lady of South Africa from 1988 to 1999, when married to Nelson Mandela.

Today, as the Founder of the Graça Machel Trust, her work focuses on women’s economic and financial empowerment, education, food security and nutrition, and promoting democracy and good governance. She has recently been appointed as a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate.

The Corporate Legacy of Philanthropy Award, which celebrates the actions a company takes to improve the lives of the local community, went to Helzberg Diamonds, based in Kansas City in the US.

Speaking at the gala were five of D.E.F.’s student scholars who talked about their empowerment through education thanks to programmes funded by D.E.F. Two were from the Botswana Top Achievers Programme and three from the African Leadership Academy.

In addition, Sadhvi Shilapiji, head of D.E.F’s Indian beneficiary, Veerayatan, spoke on the importance of linking education with giving back to one’s community. D.E.F supports students attending Veerayatan’s Colleges of Pharmacy, Engineering & Business Administration based in Gujarat, India.

Nancy Orem Lyman, D.E.F Executive Director, said: “The gala is our single most important fundraising event of the year. The proceeds from the event are used to continue supporting access to higher education for young emerging leaders from diamond communities around the world.

“Inspired by the impact our supporters, including founding supporter De Beers Group of Companies, are having on the communities where they do business, we have created the platform from which to share these stories with consumers. To date, the message that Diamonds Do Good has been shared with over three million millennial consumers.”

D.E.F., founded in 2007 by business entrepreneur Russell Simmons and leaders in the diamond and jewellery industries, is a global non-profit organisation whose mission is to support initiatives that develop and empower people in diamond communities worldwide.

It also supports the Flaviana Matata Foundation in Tanzania, as well as the Diamond Development Initiative’s mobile school programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

About De Beers
De Beers is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers, visit

Media Contact 
Press office
Tel +44 (0) 20 7430 3434

Keywords: Events, Media & Communications | Awards, Ratings & Rankings | De Beers | Events, Media & Communications | Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions | Public Relations | Sustainable Development Goals

CAMPAIGN: De Beers Group's commitment to Society

CONTENT: Article