Actor to Receive International Vanguard Award
New York, NY; March 13, 2017 – Acclaimed actor and social justice advocate David Oyelowo, who starred in such films as Selma and A United Kingdom, will be honored by the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) at its annual Diamonds Do Good Awards gala on June 4 in Las Vegas. Mr. Oyelowo, who will receive the Diamonds Do Good International Vanguard Award.
D.E.F’s International Vanguard Award reflects Mr. Oyelowo’s visionary work in the arts and in the education empowerment of vulnerable girls in Nigeria.
Born in England to Nigerian parents, Mr. Oyelowo’s acting achievements bring to the forefront the core values and integrity of leading historical personalities and stories, including Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights activists in the film Selma and, most recently, Sir Seretse Khama and the people of Botswana in the film A United Kingdom. Oyelowo, himself of royal heritage, gives a strong performance in A United Kingdom, providing a unique and rare platform and substantial exposure to Botswana’s role as a leading diamond producing nation and one where the country’s natural endowment of diamonds has been used to successfully uplift the country and its people. This gives testimony of how positive social transformation and natural resources can be used for the betterment of society.
Mr. Oyelowo’s own passion for inspiring positive change and enacting social justice is represented in his work with the GEANCO Foundation and the newly created David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls. The Scholarship provides the opportunity for young girls from Nigeria to become the next leaders in their community and their country, regardless of their circumstances.
Mr. Oyelowo, now a United States citizen, lives in California with his actress wife, Jessica, and their four children.
Joining Mr. Oyelowo in receiving Diamonds Do Good awards at the gala will be Her Excellency Graça Machel, former first lady of Mozambique and South Africa (when married to then President Nelson Mandela) who will receive the Global Humanitarian Award and iconic retailer Helzberg Diamonds who will receive the Corporate Legacy of Pilanthropy Award.
For more information and to purchase tickets/sponsorships, please visit diamondsdogoodawards.org
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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: 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, the Botswana Top Achievers program that provides the top high school students countrywide the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide. Graduates then return to Botswana to contribute to its economic, social and political development; Veerayatan, a model for encouraging 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 its colleges of Pharmacy, Business Administration and Engineering. D.E.F also supports the Diamond Development Initiative’s mobile school program in the Democratic Republic of Congo and high school scholars in Tanzania through the Flaviana Matata Foundation.