Shared Interest Raises $375,000

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[Global: Fundraising]

Shared Interest, a New York-based non profit organization engaged in providing South Africa's economically disadvantaged with sustainable resources, held its 15th annual awards dinner on March 30 in New York City. 

The black tie affair, hosted by Michelle Miller honored Graca Machel, wife of Nelson Mandela and Former First Lady of Mozambique, Dr. Price Cobbs, author, psychiatrist and president of a management consulting company and Johnson & Johnson. The gala also paid tribute to J Max Bond Jr. and the legendary Miriam "Mama Afrika" Makeba, who passed away a few months ago.

Machel, a fervent and renowned advocate of children's and women's rights and author of a groundbreaking UN report on the affect of conflict on children, was honored for "her courageous defense of the rights of Southern Africa's women and children."

Machel could not make it to the New York gala so activist Prexy Nesbitt accepted the award on her behalf. A pre-recorded video message from Machel was shown; she said she accepted the award as a recognition of the social causes she fought for rather than a personal honor.

Machel mentioned the importance of freedom, political space, literacy and unity. "South Africa is a region of hope," she said, " but a region that is still struggling."

Dr. Price Cobbs co-author of the influential book "Black Rage" was honored for his "lifelong commitment to racial and economic justice in South Africa and the United States."

Introduced as a "mentor", Cobbs was met with rapturous applause. In his acceptance speech he recalled his childhood, going to picket lines with his parents, and driving cross country to L.A. and how such experiences shaped him. He stressed the importance of self reflection and the ability to laugh at one self even at the most troubling times.

Johnson & Johnson, co-sponsors of the event, were awarded the Corporate Award for their support of South African micro entrepreneurs.

A heartfelt tribute to J. Max Bond and Makeba was led by Reverend Mangedwa C. Nyathi. A video was played highlighting Makeba's career and one of her most popular songs "Pata Pata" was performed by the South African All Star Band.

The event raised approximately $375,000.

To find out more about Shared Interest please visit:

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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