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About the DVF Awards

The DVF Awards was founded in 2010 by Diane von Furstenberg and The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to recognize and support extraordinary women who are dedicated to transforming the lives of other women; women who have had the courage to fight, the power to survive, and the leadership to inspire.

Honorees are celebrated annually at the DVF Awards ceremony at the United Nations in New York City, as part of the Women in the World conference.

Each year, five awards are bestowed to women who have demonstrated leadership, strength, and courage in their commitment to women’s causes. The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation grants each honoree $50,000 for their non-profit organization in order to further their important work.

Award Categories

  • The International DVF Award
  • The Inspiration DVF Award
  • The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award
  • The People's Voice DVF Award

Announcing the 2018
DVF Awards Honorees

The following extraordinary women will be honored at the 9th annual DVF Awards in New York on April 13, 2018.

This year’s honorees are:

  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

    The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award
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  • Misty Copeland

    The Inspiration DVF Award
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  • Ariela Suster

    The International DVF Award
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  • Jaha Dukureh

    The International DVF Award
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  • Luma Mufleh

    The People’s Voice DVF Award
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The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She thereafter served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she was an associate and then partner from 1984–1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She then served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.

Photo credit: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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The Inspiration DVF Award

Misty Copeland

Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the late age of thirteen. She went on to study at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre's Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT's National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. 
Misty joined ABT's Studio Company in 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in 2001, and in 2007 became the company’s second African American female Soloist and the first in two decades. In 2015, Misty was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history. She made her Broadway debut in the role of “Ivy Smith/Miss Turnstiles” with the critically acclaimed show, On The Town.

In 2008, Misty was honored with the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts. Performing a variety of classical and contemporary roles, one of Misty’s most important roles was performing the title role in Firebird. In 2014, Misty debuted the lead role of “Clara” in American Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker. That same year, she made history as the first black woman to perform the lead role of “Odette/Odile” in American Ballet Theatre's Swan Lake during the company’s inaugural tour to Australia. Misty reprised the role during ABT’s Metropolitan Opera House spring season in 2015, as well as debuted as “Juliet” in Romeo & Juliet. During ABT’s spring season in 2017, Misty debuted the lead roles in Giselle and Don Quixote as “Kitri,” as well as Miss Praline in Alexei Ratmansky’s critically acclaimed Whipped Cream. And in November 2017, she debuted the role of “Aurora” in The Sleeping Beauty with The Australian Ballet in Sydney.

Misty has been featured in numerous publications and television programs, including CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Vogue, and Essence. She was honored with an induction into the Boys & Girls Club National Hall of Fame in 2012, named to the Time 100 List in 2015, and received the 2015 Glamour Magazine Women of the Year Award.

Misty is also dedicated to mentoring young girls and boys. She was named National Youth of the Year Ambassador for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2013. In 2014, President Obama appointed Misty to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. And in 2015, she traveled to Rwanda with MindLeaps to help launch its girls program and to establish The Misty Copeland Scholarship.

Misty is the author of two New York Times Bestsellers, Life in Motion and Ballerina Body. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hartford in 2014 for her contributions to classical ballet and helping to diversify the art form.

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The International DVF Award

Ariela Suster

Ariela Suster was born and raised in El Salvador during the Salvadoran Civil War. Ariela and her family experienced violence first-hand and it rocked Ariela to her core, but also lit in her a desire for change. She felt determined to one day influence the sequence of events that keep her country—and its people—in violence.

So after forging a name for herself in New York’s fashion industry, holding senior editorial positions at InStyle, Lucky and Harpers Bazaar, Ariela left the editorial world to follow her heart. She returned to El Salvador and was struck again with an urgent desire to positively influence her home country. She saw an opportunity to disrupt its story of violence by employing—and empowering—a group of at-risk youth to create beautiful, handcrafted products in their own community.

In 2011, Ariela founded Sequence, a collection of jewelry and accessories designed by Ariela and handcrafted by local artisans in Tepecoyo, an El Salvadorian neighborhood near Ariela’s hometown. The Sequence workshop has since become a second home to its employees, offering steady work, weekend art classes and a positive alternative to local gang culture.

An award-winning social entrepreneur who has developed a reputation as an expert in fields related to ethical fashion, social impact and women in business, Ariela has spoken at the United Nations, Yale University, NEXUS Global Youth Summit, and the Microsoft World Wide Partnership Conference. She recently received the Vital Voices Leadership Award for Economic Empowerment.

She is a CALI and Aspen Institute Fellow.

sequencecollection.com

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The International DVF Award

Jaha Dukureh

When Jaha Dukureh was a week old, she survived female genital mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia. When she was 15 years old, she was forced into marriage with a man many years her senior, and sent to New York to be with her husband. On her wedding night, she was cut again to allow for the consummation of the marriage. The second procedure is common for women who have already undergone the most severe form of FGM.

Today, she fights against the practice, which the UN estimates affects 200 million girls and women globally. Jaha is the CEO and Founder of the NGO Safe Hands for Girls that provides support to African women and girls who are survivors of FGM and addresses its lifelong, harmful physical and psychological consequences. Alongside women’s organizations and civil society, she contributed to the Gambian Government’s ban on FGM after youth mobilization and campaigning in the country.

On February 6, 2018, in honor of The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, UN Women announced the appointment of Jaha as the Regional Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women. In this role, she will dedicate her efforts to support UN Women’s advocacy to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in Africa, with a focus on mobilizing youth.

Jaha was also instrumental in advocating with President Obama’s administration to investigate the prevalence of FGM in the United States, and the subsequent Summit to End FGM on December 2, 2016 at the United States Institute of Peace.

Now a mother of three, Jaha works to ensure FGM and child marriages become horrors of the past.

safehandsforgirls.org

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The People’s Voice DVF Award

Luma Mufleh

Luma Mufleh is the CEO and Founding Director of Fugees Family, Inc., a nonprofit organization that uses the power of soccer, education and community to empower refugee children to successfully integrate into the United States. Luma is a 2016 Top 10 CNN Hero whose story has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, ESPN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, Forbes and more.

The Fugees’ story began in 2004, when Luma took a wrong turn while driving through the town of Clarkston, Georgia and noticed a group of boys playing soccer in the street. She learned that these children were refugees from war-torn countries including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Burma, Somalia and Sudan. That summer, Luma made fliers announcing tryouts for the Fugees soccer team. In the years that followed, the soccer team grew into something much larger — a school, a tutoring program, a summer camp, a college prep program, and, most importantly, a community and support network. The Fugees were chronicled in the bestselling book “Outcasts United” by Warren St. John.

A lifelong social entrepreneur, Luma has created several programs and initiatives that have gainfully employed, educated and empowered refugees and immigrants in her community and beyond, with the Fugees Academy serving as a national model for refugee education. While only 20 percent of refugee students graduate from high school in Georgia’s DeKalb County, the Fugees Academy has a 90 percent graduation rate. These types of results helped earn Luma the 2016 Cournelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship from the Manhattan Institute.

A Jordanian immigrant and Muslim of Syrian descent, Luma received her U.S. citizenship in 2011. Her story – and the story of the Fugees – illustrates both the American dream and the very real challenges of integration and discrimination that so many face today.

Luma received her B.A. in Anthropology from Smith College and recently completed the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

fugeesfamily.org

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People's Voice DVF Award Nominees

Let your voice be heard.

The People’s Voice DVF Award is chosen by popular vote and will be celebrated at the 9th annual DVF Awards to be held on April 13, 2018 at the United Nations in New York City.

This year’s nominees are:


Erin Loos Cutraro


Founder and CEO
She Should Run

“I'm #INCHARGE of showing women and girls that being a leader in our country isn't just possible - it is inevitable.”

Erin Loos Cutraro is the Founder and CEO of She Should Run, a leading non-partisan organization working to increase the number of women running for office in the United States. Since its founding in 2011, nearly 40,000 women have been encouraged to run for office through She Should Run’s efforts, and over 11,000 women have indicated they are preparing for a future through She Should Run’s flagship program, the Incubator. Their goal is to get 250,000 women running for office by 2030.

An entrepreneurial leader, Erin is known for finding innovative solutions to complex challenges, including creating the Incubator, a first-of-its-kind virtual community and series of resources for women considering a run for office. Erin also built a strategic partnership with Mattel to create the 2016 Presidential and Vice Presidential Barbie, and launched an award-winning parody book, "See Joan Run," to inspire more female participation in electoral politics.

Erin is a respected voice on gender equality in elected leadership and a sought-after public speaker. She has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, and profiled by Vice News.

Before joining She Should Run, Erin designed and implemented a variety of strategic programs for companies, campaigns, and organizations that traverse the public policy, non-profit, and financial business arenas. As the political director of Women’s Campaign Fund, Erin advised female candidates at the national, state, and local level. Before that, she served at an educational non-profit and in state government in the Office of Missouri’s Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, whom she helped elect statewide as part of Carnahan's campaign team in 2004.

Erin began her career as a teacher and has a life-long dedication to improving the lives of others through learning. She earned an M.A. in Communication from St. Louis University and B.A in Education at the University of Missouri.

It's Erin's two young daughters who motivate her to champion the systematic and cultural change needed to see gender equity for women and girls in our lifetime. Born and raised in Missouri, Erin now resides just outside of New York City.



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Luma Mufleh


CEO and Founding Director
Fugees Family, Inc.

“I'm #INCHARGE when we shatter stereotypes, succeed in ways we're not expected to, and otherwise do the impossible.”

Luma Mufleh is the inspirational CEO and Founding Director of Fugees Family, Inc., a nonprofit organization that uses the power of soccer, education and community to empower refugee children to successfully integrate into the United States. Luma'a story has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, ESPN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, and more. According to Tom Brokaw, the Fugees are “a perfect example of what this nation is supposed to be about, which is to provide a refuge for the refugees.”

The Fugees’ story began in 2004, when Luma took a wrong turn while driving through the town of Clarkston, Georgia and noticed a group of boys playing soccer in the street. She learned that these children were refugees from war-torn countries including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Burma, Somalia and Sudan. That summer, Luma made fliers announcing tryouts for the Fugees soccer team. In the years that followed, the soccer team grew into something much larger — a school, a tutoring program, a summer camp, a college prep program, and, most importantly, a community and support network. The Fugees were chronicled in the bestselling book “Outcasts United” by Warren St. John.

A lifelong social entrepreneur, Luma has created several programs and initiatives that have gainfully employed, educated and empowered refugees and immigrants in her community and beyond, with the Fugees Academy serving as a national model for refugee education. While only 20 percent of refugee students graduate from high school in Georgia’s DeKalb County, the Fugees Academy has a 90 percent graduation rate. These types of results helped earn Luma the 2016 Cournelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship from the Manhattan Institute.

A Jordanian immigrant and Muslim of Syrian descent, Luma received her U.S. citizenship in 2011. Her story – and the story of the Fugees – illustrates both the American dream and the very real challenges of integration and discrimination that so many face today.

Luma received her B.A. in Anthropology from Smith College and recently completed the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


 

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Laura Hackney and Jessica Hubley

“We feel #INCHARGE when an @anniecannons human trafficking survivors says, "Wait - coding is this easy?!?"”

Laura Hackney and Jessica Hubley are Co-Founders of AnnieCannons, a non-governmental organization working to transform survivors of human trafficking into software professionals to sustain a lifetime free of exploitation. With a trauma-informed care and work model built on innovation and collaboration, AnnieCannons goes beyond coding boot camp, providing long-term employment and free in-house childcare, ultimately giving survivors the resources they need to succeed.

AnnieCannons partners with shelters to train human trafficking survivors in digital fluency and software programming, and then leverages contract projects to help their students find paying work regardless of industry barriers. Revenue from these projects goes back to funding the training model, which also helps survivors to build software to combat and prevent human trafficking.

Laura was previously the manager of the Program on Human Rights at Stanford University. She also worked as the Senior Research Associate for Stanford’s Anti-Trafficking Project in the Mekong Sub-Region and was a program associate for the Freeman Spogli Institute’s International Policy Implementation Lab.

In addition to analyzing various forms of human trafficking around the world, Laura has extensively investigated the specific issue of trafficking Burmese women and children into the marriage market of China. Domestically, she works with the Human Trafficking Task Force within the San Francisco Police Department’s Special Victims Unit and supports the local Bay Area anti-trafficking groups. Laura is also a self-taught full-stack software engineer. She holds a Master’s degree from Stanford, and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley.

As AnnieCannons Executive Director, she leads charitable initiatives, nonprofit partnerships, and the trauma-informed care and work model.

Jessica is an attorney and entrepreneur running her own legal practice in the Bay Area. After earning a BA and Master’s from Emory University and attending Stanford Law School, Jessica worked at Latham & Watkins LLP and Dickstein Shapiro LLP, advising internet, cloud, and digital media companies on general commercial matters, with a particular focus on privacy issues, IP management, and distribution strategies. She previously served as General Counsel at Stride Health, Inc., where she also served in an operations role. Her legal practice specializes in e-commerce and privacy law in the Bay Area, where she works to guide tech startups through their lifecycle with profitable responsibility. She also writes novels and was introduced to the global issues of human trafficking several years ago through her work as the President of Women of Stanford Law. She met Laura while working on a narrative nonfiction piece that highlights the stories of trafficking survivors from around the globe and how existing technology could have helped them. As AnnieCannons' CEO, she leads its commercial operations, product development and distribution, and impact outsourcing business.



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Georgie Smith

“By being the change I seek in the world I am #INCHARGE of making a difference in the lives of all I touch, and leading others to be the change.”

Georgie Smith was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. A filmmaker, chef and designer, Smith founded the nonprofit A Sense of Home (ASOH) after her random act of kindness for an aged out foster youth formed a model for a community-based solution to an escalating crisis.

ASOH is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles that is dedicated to creating homes, community and a new beginning for foster youth after exiting the foster-care system. Foster youth exiting the system are more likely to become homeless or incarcerated than any other population (at a cost of $8 billion per year). In just over three years, ASOH has created 280 homes changing the trajectory of 410 young lives. Georgie has hired an all-former-foster-youth staff to run the organization, empowering the once disenfranchised to become leaders of sustainable change.

In 2017, Georgie was nominated as one of seven 2017 Sheroes at the Women's Choice Awards, and was included in the 2017 global book and exhibit "200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World." ASOH is a model to be replicated around the US and the world.

Along with fellow ASOH founder, Melissa Goddard, Georgie will soon launch a social enterprise that will benefit ASOH, aged-out foster youth and anyone creating their first ever home. Georgie Smith is dedicated to building healthier more loving communities from the ground up.



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Past Awards

2018 Honorees

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, The Lifetime Leadership DVF Award

Misty Copeland, The Inspiration DVF Award

Ariela Suster, The International DVF Award (El Salvador)

Jaha Dukureh, The International DVF Award (The Gambia)

Luma Mufleh, The People’s Voice DVF Award

2017 Honorees

Dr. Jane Goodall, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Karlie Kloss, The Inspiration Award

Yoani Sánchez, The International Award (Cuba)

Baljeet Sandhu, The International Award (United Kingdom)

Louise Dubé, The People’s Voice Award

2016 Honorees

Dr. Martine Rothblatt, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Sarah Jones, The Inspiration Award

Maria Pacheco, The International Award (Guatemala)

Agnes Igoye, The International Award (Uganda)

Emily Greener, The People’s Voice Award

2015 Honorees

Melanne Verveer, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Gabrielle Giffords, The Inspiration Award

Adimaimalaga Tafuna’i, The International Award (Samoa)

Samar Minallah Khan, The International Award (Pakistan)

Becky Straw & Jody Landers, The Adventure Project, The People’s Voice Award

2014 Honorees

Gloria Steinem, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Alicia Keys, The Inspiration Award

Kah Walla, The International Award (Cameroon)

Liron Peleg-Hadomi & Noha Khatieb, The International Award (Israel)

Veronika Scott, Empowerment Plan, The People’s Voice Award

2013 Honorees

Robin Roberts, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Natalia Vodianova, The Inspiration Award

Andeisha Farid, The International Award (Afghanistan)

Sunitha Krishnan, The International Award (India)

Tammy Tibbetts, She’s the First, The People’s Voice Award

2012 Honorees

Oprah Winfrey, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Jaycee Dugard, The Inspiration Award

Panmela Castro, The International Award (Brazil)

Chouchou Namegabe, The International Award (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Layli Miller-Muro, Tahirih Justice Center, The People’s Voice Award

2011 Honorees

Hillary Rodham Clinton, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Elizabeth Smart, The Inspiration Award

Sohini Chakraborty, The International Award (India)

Kakenya Ntaiya, The International Award (Kenya)

Taryn Davis, American Widow Project, The People’s Voice Award

2010 Honorees

Ingrid Betancourt, The Lifetime Leadership Award

Danielle Saint-Lot, The International Award (Haiti)

Sadiqa Basiri Saleem, The International Award (Afghanistan)

Katherine Chon, Polaris Project, The People’s Voice Award