Special guests came out to Russell Simmon’s “Empowerment for Africa” dinner gala on Monday. The event was held in recognition of World AIDS Day and to raise money to support education initiatives that develop and empower economically disadvantaged people in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource. And on World AIDS Day for a continent ravaged by the disease, education is the critical tool to help stem the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The Diamond Empowerment Fund’s first beneficiary is the Community and Individual Development Association (CIDA City Campus), South Africa’s only free college.

Rev. Run and wife Justine Simmons; super-model Nicola Breytenbach; Kim Kardashian and Russell Simmons.

Cassie, Kim Kardashian, and South African super model and Diamond Empowerment Fund ambassador Nicola Breytenbach

Also in attendance were top officiandos of the jewelry business : Neal Goldberg and Theo Killian, CEO and President of Zale Corp; Efraim Grinberg, CEO of Movado; Ira and Phyllis Bergman of Mercury Ring; Scott Rauch, President of Simmons Jewelry Co.; Saul Goldberg and Eve Goldberg of William Goldberg Company; Richard Lenox and Sally Morrison of JWT/Diamond Information Center and Judith Ripka.

Photo Credit: Photographer Mike Ficeto, Hearst Magazines

Special thanks to Janice Torres of JLM PR, Inc. for the info!