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By Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr, Diamond Empowerment Fund

Diamonds for Good: Supporting Education in Africa

The diamond and jewelry industry is engaging in innovative strategies to increase consumer awareness of its efforts to fight poverty and to promote sustainable economic development in nations where diamonds are mined and extracted. Local, regional and international businesses continued to affirm the strategic importance of demonstrating a commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Seven years ago Russell Simmons and I were personally encouraged by Nelson Mandela to establish a global nonprofit organization that was related to the diamond business for the expressed purpose of facilitating the industry’s direct support of African college students from diamond producing nations. Mandela also told us “to raise more awareness about the benefits to Africa that are derived from the good that diamonds do.”

Along with officials from De Beers and other industry leaders in 2007 we formally established the Diamond Empowerment Fund. The mission of Diamond Empowerment Fund is to support education initiatives in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource @DEF_AFRICA.

Today, six years later, we are pleased to note that over one thousand college students in Africa have received financial assistance or have been awarded scholarships as a result of the generous support that the Diamond Empowerment Fund has received from the industry. This is what we now affirmatively refer to as a “Diamonds for Good” impact.

In fact, we have just launched the Diamonds for Good Membership Campaign for mining companies, manufacturers, distributors, designers, retailers and others throughout the world. By becoming an annual Diamonds for Good Member of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, you will help to ensure that more of these deserving students will have the actual chance to go to college.

There are literally thousands and thousands of gifted and talented young students who could emerge as the future leaders of Africa and the world if only there were more opportunities for the students to attain a quality higher education. Currently the beneficiaries of the Diamond Empowerment Fund are the CIDA City Campus and the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Top Achievers Program in Gaborone, Botswana.

Consumer consciousness, concern and care about corporate social responsibility are growing phenomena. The greatest natural resources in Africa and in all places across the world are the people. We know that attaining an education is one of the most effective means of improving the quality of life and transforming a society to make progress for the sake of all humanity.

The Diamonds for Good Membership Campaign is open to all who want to support the mission of the Diamond Empowerment Fund. Join us today. Join Diamonds for Good. Contact us at: 212-359-4219.

The world is changing for the better. Let’s work together to help make a positive difference everywhere and in particular in Africa. The business and public sectors should continue to find unique and effective ways to make a collective difference. What is good for the success of people should also be good for the success of business.

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