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Monday, June 15, 2015

#JWLV India Glitters at "Diamonds in the Sky" Gala for Diamond Empowerment Fund During Jewelry Week Las Vegas

India Shines at Diamond Empowerment Fund Gala, "Diamonds in the Sky"

Featured Performance by Kelly Rowland

Amidst the festive and sensationally colored backdrop of the Four Seasons Hotel Ballroom, Prime Minister Modi and the Government of India received the Diamond Empowerment
Fund’s (D.E.F) highest recognition last night, the 2015 Global Empowerment Salute. 


Presented for India’s global leadership and contributions to democracy, development and the growth and expansion of the international diamond industry, the Gala celebrated diamonds and the positive impact made by the diamond industry worldwide. 


Taking center stage were student scholars representing D.E.F.’s “Diamonds Do Good” mission of developing the next generation of leaders in diamond communities around the world through access to higher education. 

Chantal Uwiringiyimana, one of D.E.F.’s scholars from the African Leadership Academy and currently a University of Arizona undergraduate, said “Having grown up in a poor Rwandan community, education has been the key to opportunity...I am now on track to become one of the few African female engineers.” 

Ashna Mehta, student ambassador for Veerayatan—a D.E.F. beneficiary based in India—said “Without access to education, the cycle of poverty is perpetuated and difficult to break free from...Veerayatan enables youth to reach their full potential and become leaders and change-makers in their communities.”


De Beers Group CEO Philippe Mellier, a co-founder of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, stated, “A diamond is a rare and powerful symbol for both those who give and receive one. A diamond is also a powerful symbol for those who work with them. Our diamond communities are committed to furthering the building blocks for long-term prosperity through healthcare, infrastructure, access to education, and employment. De Beers thanks D.E.F for helping make diamond moments by showing the world how ‘Diamonds Do Good.”

Accepting D.E.F’s Global Salute was Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh who said “It is good to know that the Diamond Empowerment Fund is actively working to help create education programs for children and for people working in the diamond industry in India”. 

D.E.F. co-founder Russell Simmons helped introduce a live auction of four exclusive experiences that brought the evening’s total amount raised to close to one million dollars. These funds will support D.E.F.’s beneficiaries.

Dignitaries present included David Ramsay, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment for Canada’s Northwest Territories; Peter Vician, Deputy Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment for Canada’s Northwest Territories; Robert Bouchard, Minister Legislative Assembly for Canada’s Northwest Territories, Nkoloi Nkoloi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Botswana to the United Nations; and Masego Nkgomotsang, First Secretary of Economic Affairs for the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana in Washington, DC.  


Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Rowland, who rocketed to fame as part of Destiny’s Child, helped close out the evening with her performance. Says Phyllis Bergman, D.E.F.’s President and CEO of Mercury Ring, “We are thrilled with the success of the evening and look forward to growing D.E.F.’s mission”. 

Joining Premier Presenting Sponsors Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, Inc., De Beers Group of Companies, Rio Tinto Diamonds, and Signet Jewelers Limited (Kays Jewelers, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Zales Jewelers) were Partner Sponsor Rosy Blue Group, Patron Sponsor Le Vian Group, Benefactor Sponsor KP Sanghvi and Empowerment Circle Partners Forevermark, Asian Star, Exelco, and Leo Schachter. 



About the Diamond Empowerment Fund: 
The Diamond Empowerment Fund is a global non-profit based in New York City and co-founded by Russell Simmons and leaders in the diamond industry in 2007 to empower
diamond communities around the world. 

Its beneficiaries include: CIDA City Campus, South Africa’s first non-profit university to offer a four-year business degree. CIDA has an 80% employment rate among graduates; the African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg, South Africa, founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to sustainable development on the continent and drawing students from all 54 countries in Africa; Botswana Top Achievers program that provides the top high school students countrywide the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide then return to Botswana to contribute to its economic, social and political development; and Veerayatan, a model for encouraging the development of responsible citizens who are educated, have strong integrity, and a motivation to give back to their community. 

D.E.F supports students attending the Colleges of Pharmacy, Engineering and Business Administration.  You can find more information at:   www.diamondempowerment.org

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