Our Illustrious Bela Musana Host Committee

November 1, 2018  

We are so grateful to our Host Committee for Bela Musana - distinguished professionals from across the fashion industry and beyond who were willing and eager to align with the mission of the Paper Fig Foundation.

Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was the leader of the women’s movement that helped to bring an end to the Civil War in Liberia. As she said in her acceptance speech in 2011, “It’s a time when global and community conversations are about how local community members and unarmed civilians can help turn our upside-down world right-side up.”

Her wise words are as applicable today as they were seven years ago, and we are honored to have her behind our mission.

Mara Hoffman, whose commitment to sustainability has become a core principle of her eponymous brand, designs her lines with an awareness of its impact.

Grace Mahary is the Canadian model who has devoted much of her time to her nonprofit Project Tsehigh, which helps bring sustainable energy to Africa and around the world. “I have always dreamed that the youth and citizens of Africa could have educational and career opportunities within their countries,” said Mahary in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily.

That focus on helping to build systems within the country aligns with the Paper Fig Foundation in that we seek to share best practices with leaders in our host countries and we seek to find talent within the country that intends to invest in their country.

Other members of the host committee include Mina White, the Senior Manager at IMG Models who’s helped bring more size diversity into the modeling world. Kathy Cullin, EVP Sales & Education at Beauty Prestige Group, Shiseido AmericasBeth Stankard, Head of Human Resources at COACH; and the beauty gurus Nick Stenson and Ammon Carver, both of Ulta Beauty, each bring perspectives from different ends of the fashion and beauty industry to a foundation looking to empower communities through fashion and fine arts. Ammon was recently a mentor for Kampala Fashion Week

Chrissy DeJong, restauranteur, entrepreneur, real estate maven and longtime supporter of the Foundation, and Timothy Kazinduka, Council Member of the Ugandan North American Association, round out our committee. 

For Host Committee Member Timothy Kazinduka, the work of the Paper Fig Foundation offers Ugandans abroad the opportunity to reconnect to their home country. "The invisible thread between the US and Uganda will be the connectivity between first generation Ugandan Americans in the diaspora and Ugandans back home. 

Like his colleagues on the committee, Kazinduka was happy to support because "Paper Fig Foundation has a proven track record of empowering women and providing opportunities to Africans across East Africa."