Danai Gurira, Iman Help Raise Over $2 Million to End Global Poverty at CARE Impact Awards

Elizabeth Wagmeister

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International supermodel Iman and “Black Panther” star Danai Gurira took the stage to bring awareness to injustices faced by women around the world on Thursday evening at the 2nd annual CARE Impact Awards.

“It never made sense to me, the injustice that women and girls face, just because we were born girls,” Gurira said in an emotional speech. The actor shared that she was always filled with a passion to end injustice for girls around the globe, and later in life, she found a medium to contribute: storytelling.

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“As a storyteller, I seek to reach strangers to inspire them to think, to feel, to cry, to laugh and to hopefully take action,” Gurira said. “CARE is taking action every day and deserves more applause than any playwright or actor.”

CARE was the first organization to which Gurira ever made a charitable donation. Founded in 1945 and gearing up for its 75th anniversary next year, CARE is the leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Through community-based efforts, the organization hopes to create economic opportunities, improve education and end hunger. With more than 700 million people living in extreme poverty (living off of less than $1.90 per day), CARE’s goal is to end extreme global poverty by 2030. Tuesday night’s benefit, held at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City, raised $2.15 million.

Iman, who has a deep history of charitable work, came across CARE when she was presented with an award at last year’s benefit. Since then, Iman — who was a Somalian refugee — kept in touch with the organization and came on board with a new role created specifically for her, in which she focuses on aiding refugee girls and women around the world.

Now CARE’s global advocate, Iman co-chaired last night’s event with designer Zac Posen, who made her gown with fabric from Bangladesh. Iman said the inspiration for the design was the farmers and weavers from the South Asian country.

Introducing “The Walking Dead” and “Black Panther” actress, Iman praised Gurira’s work as a UN Women global ambassador and as the founder of her own nonprofit, Love Our Girls. “Danai Gurira is a powerful force on the screen and the stage,” Iman said. “But Danai plays an equally important role off the stage. She’s a relentless advocate for women.”

Former “American Idol” contestant Kimberley Locke performed a rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and shared her association with CARE: when she was growing up poor, her family received “care packages” from the organization, which is known for creating the original care package.

Aside from honoring Gurira, the Manhattan benefit gave awards to Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, XPRIZE CEO Anousheh Ansari, Oak HC/FT co-founder and managing director Annie Lamont, and WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

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