Thank you for joining Shared Interest’s 30th Anniversary Gala

The Executive Director of Shared Interest, Ann M. McMikel, on behalf of the investment organization, has expressed her deep gratitude for the support it received at its 30th Anniversary Voices of Change Gala on April 29. 

This year’s gala reunited the community for the first time since COVID-19 to celebrate the impactful work of Shared Interest to empower and financially include black women entrepreneurs and other small and growing businesses in Southern Africa. It also provided a powerful opportunity to acknowledge South Africa’s 30th anniversary as a democracy and to honor our strong anti-apartheid roots.

“Together, we celebrated the inspiring voices of change who are vital to our global work that is advancing racial, economic, and gender justice,” McMikel said.

The distinguished honorees included: Wendy Luhabe, recipient of the Women’s Economic Leadership Award presented by globally beloved South African Media Expert, Author and Shared Interest Board of Advisor Felicia Mabuza-Suttle; Lebohang “Lebo M” Morake, recipient of the Cultural Innovator Award presented by longtime donors and partners Stanley, Marion and Eddie Bergman; and Citi Commercial Bank, recipient of the Corporate Leadership Award presented by Shared Interest Board Treasurer Louise Nankiinga

The inspiring program was hosted by Makho Ndlovu and featured special messages by New York City Mayor Eric Adams as well as Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, along with captivating performances by Ajada Reigns and the Lion King Broadway Cast

The program also included a high-level intergenerational panel discussion on “Why Africa? Why Now?” with human rights advocates: Reverend Naomi Tutu and her daughter Mungi Ngomane. It was moderated by Redi Tlhabi, a globally respected South African journalist.

Attendees were also inspired by special remarks by the new Board Chair Sharron McPherson and Executive Director Ann McMikel that highlighted strategic opportunities to scale the impact of Shared Interest’s mission and programs which call for reaching 100,000 beneficiaries who are economic engines of growth and impact in Southern Africa by 2025. 

In addition, Founder and Former Executive Director Donna Katzin joined the program via video to share important reflections on the legacy of Shared Interest and her profound appreciation for being among the recipients of a highly prestigious National Orders Award from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa that recognized her innovative commitment to assisting post-apartheid South African businesses.

The gala sponsors included: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), The Bergman Family, The Altschuler Family, Susan Pritzker, The Capital Group, Ethiopian Airlines, Citi Commercial Bank, and Stacy Manvitz. Program and media partners were, Face2Face Africa, South Africa Chamber of Commerce, and the New York South African Consulate.

“Please support our yearlong 30th Anniversary Voices of Change Campaign that is uplifting and empowering Black women entrepreneurs, youth innovators, and other small and growing businesses in their efforts to drive social and economic impact in their communities in the US and Southern Africa,” McMikel said.

Francis Akhalbey

A reader once told me I lack the emotional maturity to cope with mythological breasts. I support Manchester United, by the way. And L.A. Lakers.

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