Of the Moment: The Ninth Annual DVF Awards
From Gloria Steinem to Storm Reid, Tina Brown, Keri Russell and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School activist Delaney Tarr, three generations of amazing women came out to celebrate The Ninth Annual DVF Awards at the United Nations on Friday night. Guests—many of whom had attended Brown's Women in the World Conference earlier in the day—happily lounged on white banquettes while the talented Leona Lewis opened the evening with a soulful rendition of Bleeding Love.
“Women deserve a seat at the table. At every table,” Diane told the audience before nodding to her granddaughters, Talita von Furstenberg and Antonia Steinberg, "You are the future." She then introduced Andrés Suster as “the only man you will see on stage tonight.” Andrés was there to present his sister, Ariela Suster of Sequence Collection, with the 2018 International DVF Award. Also honored with the International DVF Award was Jaha Dukureh, an activist from the Gambia, founder of Safe Hands for Girls, who has made it her mission to fight female genital mutilation and child marriage.
CNN’s Brooke Baldwin presented The 2018 People’s Voice DVF Award to Luma Mufleh, who founded Fugees Family, Inc., an organization that uses the power of soccer, education and community to help refugee children. “The number of refugees in the world should not overwhelm you. It should fire you up,” said Luma. “We should do something about it.”
In a night that sparkled with the promise of an engaged youth, the actress Storm Reid presented The Inspiration DVF Award to a teary-eyed Misty Copeland, who told how she found ballet at her local Boys & Girls Club. She plans to share part of her grant—each honoree receives $50,000 from The Diller von-Furstenberg Family Foundation to continue their work—with the organization that supported her in the very beginning. “Let’s keep building each other up as women,” Copeland said. “Let’s keep staying strong. Let’s inspire each other as leaders.”
Finally, Diane introduced the honoree of the 2018 Lifetime Leadership DVF Award: “A young woman who would overcome every obstacle and make history when she became the first Hispanic, and only the third woman, to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States: Justice Sonia Sotomayor.” Sotomayor inspired the crowd with tales of the two driving forces in her life, her mother and her abuelita, reminding the audience to look to the women in their life who have lifted them up. “Remember their stories,” she said, “Because they’re the stories that will keep us moving.”
It was an evening made even more powerful by the moment women are in now, by how far we have come and how far we still have to go. As Cleo Wade put it, closing the evening with a poem from her new book, Heart Talk, “The time is always right to pound your chest and let them know that you are here.” We couldn’t agree more.