Shared Interest Honors Rep. Lee and Naidoo, New Amnesty International SG

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Rep. Barbara Lee

Shared Interest, a leading New York-based non-profit social investment fund, will honor the incoming Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo with the Champion Award for People and Planet and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic Representative to the United Nations, with the Advocate for Justice Award at its 2018 Annual Spring Benefit to be held on Tuesday, March 20th, in New York City.

US and African environmental and human rights leaders, alongside top diplomats and key U.S. policy makers and influencers, will gather for this annual event that celebrates and honors leaders for their dedication and commitment to economic democracy, sustainability and women’s empowerment in Southern Africa. “I have been a supporter of Shared Interest for two decades, and continue to celebrate their passion and dedication to the rural communities across Southern Africa," said Danny Glover, actor and activist and Honorary Co-Chair of Shared Interest Next Generation Campaign. "Empowering women and partnering with excluded and vulnerable communities to face economic and environmental challenges continues to be their focus and we should support them in this crucial mission.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee represents California’s 13th Congressional District and continues to serve as a Congressional Representative to the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. Lee has been a vocal advocate in the U.S. Congress on issues such as reproductive health and rights, gender equality, food security and global peace and security. Lee is a former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a senior Democratic Whip and a co-chair of the Sudan and South Sudan Caucus, among other leadership roles. “My commitment to women’s empowerment both in the US and Africa has been at the very core of my work in Congress and I am delighted to be honored by Shared Interest with this award,” said Rep. Barbara Lee. "We have come a long way in valuing the contributions that women make to society at large, but there is still much more work to be done to ensure young women and girls can thrive and succeed. I remain dedicated to the cause of gender equality, which will help not just women, but everyone on the planet.”

Born in South Africa, Kumi Naidoo is a renowned global activist and civil society leader who, in July 2018, will become the Secretary General of Amnesty International. Prior to this prestigious appointment, he was the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Chair of the Global Call for Climate Action, Founding Chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty and Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation. Continuing his dedication to South Africa, Kumi currently chairs Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity; the Campaign for a Just Energy Future; and the Global Climate Finance Campaign.

Leveraging a 24-year track record of transformation and impactful economic empowerment in communities across Southern Africa, Shared Interest has expanded its focus to provide resources to help rural communities face the challenges of climate change across the region. Record years of extreme weather in 2014, 2015 and 2016 have exacerbated the region’s most severe environmental issues, including drought, floods, and fires. In South Africa, the poor 2015-2016 rainy season led to 2015 having the lowest annual total rainfall on record since records began 114 years ago. Shared Interest is committed to advancing innovative tools to reduce the risk and impact of these climatic changes and placing them in the hands of the people most affected – especially low-income rural women.

International award-winning South African entrepreneur and talk show host Felicia Mabuza-Suttle will serve as the host for the 2018 Benefit and the event will feature a cocktail networking reception followed by dinner, dancing and entertainment provided by Malawian artist MASAUKO. This year’s sponsors are South African Airways, Walden Asset Management, PepsiCo, Inc. and Trillium Asset Management.

For ticket information, please visit or email: Individual gala tickets begin at $500 and table packages range from $5,000 to $50,000. Purchasing a $4,000 Next Generation table will make it possible for 8 young people to attend in your place.

Shared Interest’s mission is to mobilize the resources for Southern Africa's economically disenfranchised communities to sustain themselves and build equitable nations. Since Shared Interest began in 1994, its loan guarantees and technical support have benefited more than two million black Southern Africans – the majority of them women.

Shared Interest has never lost a cent of its investors’ interest or principal. Visit for more information.


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