Shared Interest is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting business investment in South Africa. Launched in 1994, the year of South Africa’s first democratic elections, by the Fund for a Free South Africa, an organization set up by black South Africans in exile in the U.S. in 1985. In 1995, Shared Interest established a partner organization in South Africa called the Thembani International Guarantee Fund (Thembani). Shared Interest and Thembani pioneered the use of partial loan guarantees to encourage commercial banks to lend to low-income black townships and rural communities throughout South Africa.

From their website: “To date, we are the only nonprofit social investment fund dedicated to supplying guarantees and technical assistance to South Africa’s townships and rural communities while advocating for changes within the banking sector and training commercial bankers to finance economically marginalized rural communities. The enterprises we support include small and growing businesses (SGB’s), microfinance institutions (MFIs), agricultural cooperatives and low-cost housing organizations.”

In other words, this is a very valuable organization, well deserving of your support. Their 20th anniversary awards gala is Thursday, February 27, 2014 at Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway, New York, NY 10018.

At the 2014 Awards Gala,  Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a veteran anti-apartheid activist and peace campaigner, will be honored with the Award for A Lifetime of Leadership for Justice, Reconciliation and Peace for “standing up for justice and offering a prophetic voice to the struggle to end apartheid peacefully and establish a just South Africa.” His daughter, The Rev. Mpho Tutu, will accept the Award for Inspiring the Next Generation for her efforts at the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. Other honorees incluyde South African filmmaker and producer of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” Anant Singh, South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, and anti-apartheid and human rights activist Rosieda Shabodien. Avon Products Inc., a leading global beauty company, will receive the Corporate Award at the gala.

Award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault will serve as host of the gala. Performances from South African and African American acapella group Thokoza and Dance Theatre of Harlem.

This year’s Honorary Chairs are Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, The Honorable and Mrs. David Dinkins, The Honorable Suzan Johnson Cook, Felicia Mabuza-Suttle, H.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Kingsley Mamabolo, and Consul General and Mrs. George Monyemangene.

Here is a schedule of events:

Private Honoree Reception 5:30 pm

Reception 6:00 pm / Dinner and Awards 7:00 pm / After-Party 9:30 pm

For ticket information, please visit or call COMPASS EVENTS at 212-843-5750 or Individual gala tickets begin at $500, table packages begin at $5,000. After party tickets are available separately for $100.