Nelson Mandela’s Widow Graca Machel, Actor-Activist Danny Glover And BET’s Michaela Angela Davis

May 1, 2015

Graca Machel 2Shared Interest, a leading New York-based nonprofit social investment fund, and Madiba Harlem at MIST will co-host the panel discussion “Women and Youth:  Driving Development in Southern Africa” .

The event will be moderated by award-winning journalist Michaela Angela Davis with speakers Graça Machel, former first lady of South Africa and Mozambique; Danny Glover, actor and human rights activist; Jo Menell Oscar-nominated filmmaker and Donna Katzin, founding executive director of Shared Interest on Friday, May 15 at 11:00 AM to 12 PM, at Madiba Harlem at MIST, 46 West 116th Street. The event is free to the public, with pre-registration.

“Women and youth in Southern Africa are beginning to transform their communities, countries and region,” said Donna Katzin, executive director of Shared Interest.  “From small businesses and farms to townships and cities – they are quietly making news and making history.”

Graça Machel, the widow of both former South African president Nelson Mandela and  Mozambican president Samora Machel, is an internationally renowned advocate for women’s and children’s rights. In 1997, she was made a British dame for her humanitarian work. Her lifetime of humanitarian work ranges from her impact as Mozambique’s Minister Education and Culture to the stewardship of Nelson Mandela legacy. Today, her own foundation, The Graca Machel Trust, works to eliminate gender inequality, uphold the rights of children, and empower women and their communities in Southern Africa and beyond.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Jo Menell, through his provocative television series, Street Talk, builds a conscious and inclusive society through media and “gives a voice to the voiceless”.

“We are honored to join Shared Interest in welcoming Graça Machel  to Madiba Harlem at MIST to discuss the urgent issue of women and children in South Africa,” said Carlton Brown, owner and president of MIST Harlem. “Our institution has a mission to be a space that advocates the visibility of culture, politics, education and economics of the African Diaspora.”

“Women and Youth:  Driving Development in Southern Africa” is free and open to the general public, but all attendees must pre-register by May 13.  For more information, please visit or

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On May 14th, Graça Machel and Jo Menell will be honored by Shared Interest, along with distinguished U.S. and African leaders and top diplomats at the Shared Interest 21st Anniversary Award Gala, a celebratory annual event that recognizes leaders for their commitment and ongoing work towards economic democracy and development in Southern Africa. The black-tie affair will begin with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and dessert at Espace, West 42nd St, New York, NY.

The Shared Interest 21st Anniversary Award Gala will be honoring Graça Machel for empowering Africa’s women, Jo Menelland “Street Talk” will be honored for raising the voices of South Africa’s next generation and the progressive and politically-active couples Anne H. Hess and Craig Kaplan will be honored for their decades of devotion to an array of social change initiatives–ranging from the movements to end apartheid to national and international campaigns for labor and political rights.

Gala co-chair, Peggy Dulany explains: “This is Graça Machel’s first public appearance in NY since the death of her husband, Nelson Mandela.  She is ready to talk about her commitment for the rest of her life to improve the lives of women and girls, particularly in Africa.  With her inspirational lead, we can all make a difference.”

Award-winning journalist and talk show host Felicia Mabuza-Suttle will serve as evening host of the gala with a special musicalperformance by renowned South African bass player, Bakhiti Kumalo and friends. This year’s event chairs are Peggy Dulany, co-founder and chair of the Synergos Institute and Vincent and Anne Mai, chairman and CEO of the Cranemere Group Limited. Honorary Chairs are the Honorable and Mrs. David Dinkins, Danny Glover, H.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Kingsley Mamabolo,H.E. Ambassador Zwelethu and Mrs. Mnisi , H.E. Ambassador Antonio and Mrs. Gumende and Sheila Sisuslu. For Shared Interest 21st Anniversary Award Gala ticket purchase by May 4th deadline: or questions, contact Jayna Sisbarro, Shared Interest development director at:

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