Established in 2010 on the occasion of the first Women in the World conference, the DVF Awards honor and support women who have dedicated their lives to giving back, often in the face of great opposition or personal risk. “Woman who have had the courage to fight, the power to survive, and the leadership to inspire,” says Diane von Furstenberg. Honorees each receive a $50,000 grant from the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation and are celebrated at an awards ceremony during the annual Women In The World conference.
Von Furstenberg’s long relationship with Vital Voices, which spotlights and supports extraordinary women around the world, is a cornerstone of the awards. Recipients come from Vital Voices’ network of people promoting tolerance and advancing the status of women in their respective countries, from Afghanistan to India to Cameroon.
The winner of the Inspiration Award demonstrates exceptional strength and uses her experience and influence to effect positive change. Prior recipients of the award include Ingrid Betancourt, Jaycee Duggard and Elizabeth Smart, three women known for their time in captivity—much like von Furstenberg’s mother, a survivor of the Holocaust—who have since devoted their energy to helping other survivors.
Lifetime Leadership Award
The recipient of the Lifetime Leadership Award has dedicated her entire life and body of work to instilling strength and courage in other women. Prior honorees include Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Gloria Steinem.
DVF People’s Voice Award
The People’s Voice Award goes to someone leading a US-based, grassroots organization. It is chosen by popular vote with the aim of engaging the public in making their own change and bringing awareness to a variety of causes.
The range of projects nominated for the 2015 People’s Voice Award shows but a few of the many ways that women are working to improve the world; each is a creative
solution to a need identified through the personal experiences of the organization’s founder.
You can cast your vote here.
This year’s People’s Voice Award nominees are:
Kate Atwood of Kate’s Club is building community through compassion by uniting and empowering children who have lost a parent or sibling, and giving them a safe and supportive environment in which to grieve. Atwood lost her own mother when she was just 12 years old.
Nancy Lublin of Crisis Text Line is supporting teenagers in crisis through text messages, bringing new technology to an old problem. Whether they are facing bullying, suicidal thoughts or sexual abuse, teens can get free emotional support through a medium they know and trust. Lublin is the CEO of DoSomething.org, which started receiving cries for help when conducting volunteer outreach to young people.
Maya Nussbaum of Girls Write Now is creating opportunities through mentorship and education by pairing at-risk girls in New York City with women writers so they can develop their voices, share their stories, and make positive choices. She founded the organization to expose underprivileged girls to the same positive educational experiences that she received at a formative age.
Becky Straw and Jody Landers of the Adventure Project are building community through entrepreneurship, sponsoring jobs in developing countries to improve child survival, reduce conflict, and move people out of poverty for good. Straw saw the need for sustainable assistance through previous work with charity: water, and Landers aims to connect with people who shared her own experience of being eager to give back, but unsure of where to begin.
Don’t forget to vote here!
The voting period for the 2015 DVF People’s Voice Award runs from March 6-29. Voters can also enter to win a trip to New York City to attend the announcement of the winner at the 6th annual DVF Awards, on Thursday, April 23 at United Nations Headquarters. For more information, visit DVFAWARDS.COM.