DEF Hosts Record 2018 Di­a­monds Do Good Awards

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The Di­a­mond Em­pow­er­ment Fund (DEF) hosted its most suc­cess­ful Di­a­monds Do Good Awards to date, on May 31st, 2018, at the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel in Las Ve­gas. The funds raised will be used to pro­vide higher ed­u­ca­tion schol­ar­ships and as­sis­tance to em­power young peo­ple liv­ing in di­a­mond pro­duc­ing coun­tries and where the di­a­mond in­dus­try does busi­ness and to help com­mu­ni­cate this ‘di­a­monds do good’ im­pact to con­sumers.

Botswana Top Achiever stu­dent and re­cent Yale grad­u­ate, Opelo Matome, rep­re­sented DEF’s Stu­dent Schol­ars. She said, “I am ever grate­ful for the op­por­tu­ni­ties I’ve been granted through the sup­port of or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Di­a­mond Em­pow­er­ment Fund and through my coun­try’s pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of ed­u­ca­tion, truly one of the most pow­er­ful cat­a­lysts for change.”

The event was aided by the first-ever in­dus­try ‘Bal­loons For Good’ ap­peal. Em­ceed by Awards chair and pres­i­dent of Hearts On Fire, Caryl Capeci, and JCK news di­rec­tor Rob Bates, the on-site ap­peal raised ad­di­tional dol­lars for DEF’s mis­sion.

Honourees re­ceiv­ing Di­a­monds Do Good Awards for their own ef­forts at bring­ing about so­cial im­pact change in­cluded Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers, for his role in ac­cel­er­at­ing the pro­fes­sional ad­vance­ment of women, and the Gov­ern­ment of the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries (GNWT) of Canada, for its re­spon­si­ble di­a­mond mining devel­op­ment poli­cies.

Bruce Cleaver noted, “Ad­vanc­ing women is an in­dus­try­wide is­sue. We all have an in­ter­est in strength­en­ing the sec­tor by mak­ing it more di­verse, in mak­ing sure the ben­e­fits that di­a­monds can have are felt in the com­mu­ni­ties from which they come.”

GNWT premier Bob McLeod said, “Our gov­ern­ment has made it a pri­or­ity to en­sure the multi-bil­lion dol­lar di­a­mond in­dus­try would ben­e­fit the NWT econ­omy and res­i­dents, and pro­tect the land, wa­ter, and wildlife for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

DEF pres­i­dent Anna Martin, also se­nior vice pres­i­dent of GIA, closed the evening say­ing, “The re­cip­i­ents of this year’s Di­a­monds Do Good Awards truly re­flect the on­go­ing pos­i­tive im­pact be­ing fos­tered by the di­a­mond in­dus­try around the world. Shar­ing th­ese sto­ries with our con­sumers is not only good for busi­ness, it is a re­spon­si­bil­ity for the en­tire in­dus­try.”

Lead spon­sors of the Di­a­monds Do Good Awards in­cluded the De Beers Group of Com­pa­nies, Chow Tai Fook Jew­ellery Group, Signet Jewel­ers (Kay Jewel­ers, Jared the Gal­le­ria of Jew­elry, Zales Jewel­ers), Do­min­ion Di­a­mond Mines, Le Vian, Rosy Blue, Hearts On Fire and Forever­mark.

(From left) Ab­hay Javeri, Russell Me­hta and Ra­gin Me­hta

A wide-an­gle shot of the gala event

DEF board mem­bers

Anna Martin with Bruce Cleaver

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