Founded by Russell Simmons upon his return from Africa last year, D.E.F. is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to empowerment in Africa through funding education programs in African countries where diamonds are a natural resource.
Simmons Jewelry launched the Green Initiative jewelry collection last year with a signature piece called the Green Bracelet, made from green malachite beads and a rough diamond. The bracelet has a suggested retail price of $125, with $20 of each sale being donated to to D.E.F. The bracelet has been worn by Beyoncé, Bill Clinton, Mischa Barton, John Mayer, Vanessa Hudgens, David Beckham, Ludacris, Penelope Cruz, Serena Williams, T.I., Naomi Campbell and others.
The check presentation at D.E.F.’s New York City headquarters: Left to right are Scott Rauch; Sally Morrison, director of the Diamond Information Center; Russell Simmons, D.E.F. Advisory Board Chairman; Ellen Haddigan, D.E.F. director; and Lesego Mathware, a Botswana native and intern at D.E.F.