Home · Blog · Feature : Voss Foundation receives African Diaspora Award for being a “Friend of Africa”

IMG_1989Our Executive Director Kara Gerson “was honored” to accept Applause Africa‘s African Diaspora Award for Voss Foundation’s work as a Friend of Africa on November 30th.

“Voss Foundation is the vision of our Founder and President, Knut Brundtland,” Kara said from the podium, “and it has been a privilege to be able to execute that vision as the Executive Director for nearly five years.”

The third annual African Diaspora Awards (ADA), which Applause Africa calls “the only major awards show that celebrates exemplary brands and individuals who have made a significant difference in the African community in the United States across categories of media, entertainment, community advocacy and philanthropy,” was held at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater At The Lincoln Center in New York City. Nobel Peace Prize winner and activist Leymah Gbowee, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, delivered the keynote address, “The Power of Our Voice.”

Kara and our Program Officer, Caitlin Rackish, both called meeting Gbowee, an early and crucial inspiration to Voss Foundation, a highlight of the evening. “It was such an extraordinary honor to be recognized alongside such a brave change-maker, and personal hero of mine, as Ms. Gbowee,” Kara recounted. “And it was exciting to be able to talk with her and [founder of Voss Foundation’s partner in Liberia]Saran [Kaba Jones]about our work in Liberia. Meeting her was a real dream come true!”CER KOG w Leymah Gbowee 30Nov13

Founded in 2011, the ADA has recognized, acknowledged and rewarded excellence in the Diaspora among individuals such as Ethiopian model and maternal health advocate Liya Kebede, media mogul Lola Ogunnaike, serial entrepreneur and iROKO Partners CEO Jason Njoku, Activist and Grammy Award winner Angelique Kidjo, Actor and Resident DJ at The Ellen De Generes Show Tony Okungbowa, Grammy-nominated sisters Les Nubians, and FACE Africa founder Saran Kaba Jones, to name a few. This year’s honorees were selected following a three-week voting process involving the board of Applause Africa, a board of judges and an independent audit committee  comprised of African leaders worldwide.

The 2012 winner of the “Friend of Africa” Award was Krista Krieger, who serves on Voss Foundation’s Women Helping Women New York committee.

Debo Folorunsho, Founder of Applause Africa says: “For over twelve years, Applause Africa has committed time and resources towards identifying and celebrating Africans in the Diaspora who make a significant difference in the global African community.  Our successful and outstanding record of accomplishment is a testament of our quest to highlight the efforts of deserving role models in the African community and serves as the passion behind the African Diaspora Awards.”

2013 honorees were:
Entrepreneur of the yea: Chinedu Echeruo /Founder, HopStop
Community Service Award: Mpule Kwelagobe
Creative artist of the year: Wangechi Mutu
Humanitarian of the year: Munyang Reath Kher
Community Service Award: Mpule Kwelagobe
Friends Of Africa: Kara Gerson for Voss Foundation
Friends Of Africa: Barry Segal for Segal Family Foundation
Advocate of the year: Amini Kanjuju – Africa America Institute
Musician of the year: Blitz the Ambassador
Company Of The Year: IBM
Actor Of the Year: Yaya Alafia
Designer of the year: Korto Momolu
Humanitarian of the year: Munyang Reath Kher
Scholar of the Year: Emmanuel Ohuabunwa
Diplomat of the Year: Ambassador Fillipe Savadogo
Film of the Year Award: Mother of George
Face Of Africa: Nnenna Agba
Person Of the Year / Change Maker: Thione Niang
Person Of the Year: Oluchi Orlandi
Lifetime achievement Award: Leymah Gbowee

Applause Africa magazine is a quarterly-published lifestyle magazine for the progressive African in Diaspora. Applause Africa focuses on the people, cultures, philosophies and successes of Diaspora Africa.  Applause Africa started as a hobby 10 years ago, in Nigeria, and was re-introduced in the United States three years ago. Applause Africa is one of very few publications in the US that focus on disseminating positive news on Africa and celebrating exceptional Diaspora African professionals who continue to make Africa proud. Applause Africa is committed to continue to raise the consciousness of African professionals about their collective responsibility and efforts to help build a better Africa by becoming the change they envision.

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