Actress Julianne Moore and Sally Morrison, director of the Diamond Information Center, hosted a private pre-Oscar dinner in Los Angeles on Feb. 21 to celebrate the role of diamonds in Africa. Former Botswana president Festus G. Mogae was the guest of honor.
Debra Messing, Forest Whitaker, Tom Ford, and Russell Simmons were among the celebrity guests at the dinner, held at the Chateau Marmont.
Diamonds have always been synonymous with the Academy Awards and the dinner celebrated the connection of diamonds as an invaluable natural resource for southern Africa.
Moore discussed her recent trip to South Africa and Botswana and of her discovery of the journey of diamonds from the mines of Southern Africa to the red carpets of Hollywood.
“Julianne Moore is the epitome of classic beauty and effortless style,” said Sally Morrison, director, Diamond Information Center. “However, more importantly, she brings an intelligence and empathy to the issues faced by the diamond producing countries today and so could not be a better person to help us communicate that diamonds, beyond being the ultimate in a luxury product, are a lifeline to communities in Southern Africa.”
On display at the dinner was a collection of diamonds, including many important international pieces, as well as the unveiling of the Shining Light Diamond Collection, which showcased a direct example of how diamonds create an enduring value and a sustainable source of economic diversification for producing countries.
Mogae spoke passionately of the importance of diamonds to the future of his country. Botswana’s growth and responsible use of its resources has made the country a poster child for African development.
“We felt it was important for Hollywood to understand that diamonds, while synonymous with Hollywood and glamour, are also a lifeline for people in the countries where they are minded, providing healthcare, infrastructure, education, and employment,” Morrison said. “By bringing president Mogae to the Oscars, he was able to deliver that message in person and to highlight the importance of diamonds to his country.”