Interviewed and written by Aaron Robinson – Editor
Kind, loving and caring are some of the words that describe leading woman in the entertainment industry, Daphna Ziman, who has been the driving force behind the success of companies such as Cinemoi North America LLC., Unicorn Records and founder of her Los Angeles based organization Children Uniting Nations (CUN). She has utilized her organization to help save the lives of at-risk and foster youth.
During a recent interview, I had the opportunity to speak with her in regards to the Children Uniting Nations 2013 Awards Celebration and Viewing Dinner, as well as the significant contribution that she has provided for our youth throughout the country. “I’m very excited that we are helping thousands of foster kids. We feel like we are actually helping children that have been abused, neglected and abandoned.”
Over the past decade CUN has received the support of various celebrities and congressional leaders throughout the country, as they have taken on a role to mentor and guide at-risk foster youth in sports, academics and life mentoring. While continuing to expand her organization to help children, Ziman elaborates on what she finds most rewarding. “You know, when a child is born we gather in the miracle of creation. We wait to look into this child’s eyes, and when those child’s eyes open we see the hope of the world. The most exciting things for me is when I see hope in the eyes of children.”
While living in an unforgiving environment, sometimes situations that occur in the life of at-risk youth can be devastating, leaving a child without a voice. As an author of The Gray Zone, inspired by Ziman rescuing her soon to be daughter from a homeless shelter, Ziman talks about the beginning stages of the healing process of a child after they’ve endured horrific conditions. “Well, you know first of all, it’s a community issue because [a large percentage] of all inmates in the penitentiary come from the child welfare system. Instead of helping children and educating them, supporting them into becoming contributing citizens, we tend to turn our back onto those children who have already been hurt, abused and abandoned by the wrong parents.” Ziman speaks on the importance of helping a child. “So, the most important thing to do is to start recognizing that they are children who are our future that has no one. Every single person has to start reaching out and helping one child…somebody….one caring adult who can focus on them and help them, and be there for them. When in life, everyone has a social responsibility and that responsibility would be greater if everyone looked after a child.”
Honoring individuals, it seems as though it could be a difficult choice to make. However, it’s not complicated to do when individuals are doing amazing things from their heart. During the Children Uniting Nations 2013 Awards Celebration and Viewing Dinner, Isiah Thomas, Roderick Sherwood and Marvin Markowitz are honored. “Isiah Thomas is a major Hall of Fame basketball player and spending his life focusing on these very children in the community. We’re proud of the fact that someone like him goes back and helps other children to become successful in whatever their talents are. But also the fact he’s just not talking about himself, he’s thinking about our future because our future is our children. Rod Sherwood, who was a major in Wall Street and somebody who really knows how to run major companies, and for him to take time to help a charity that helps children that’s the kind of intention we want to see. And Marvin Markowitz, he owns many businesses, restaurants and deli’s. Every year he comes to the Day of the Child and he literally feeds thousands of children’s. These children never get out like we do to restaurants, so the idea that someone is there for them to make their day special and feed them, makes everything that they don’t necessarily get every day, you know, it takes a very special person to do that. To focus on that does says “thank you!”
Last year Metta World Peace was presented the Humanitarian Award for his outstanding achievements. Verbalizing on purpose, Ziman takes center stage. “I would like people to leave there understanding it’s their responsibility to at least help one child, to have somebody in their life who cares about them. I think every year we need to think about those children that have very much the same talents or better, who may never get that chance to participate in Hollywood, because they don’t have access and they are even afraid to dream. Could you image if everyone was afraid to dream? There wouldn’t be anyone receiving any awards. Our children are afraid to dream because of the hopelessness that they are surrounded by,” she explains immensely. The 2013 Awards Celebration and viewing Dinner presented an immaculate roster of guests who were in support of the betterment of the youth.
Also, Ziman has been a success in the film industry as a writer, producer and director, as her track record includes developing multiple films for CBS and so on. Diligent and persistent with her belief, she eventually becomes known throughout Hollywood, as well as internationally known. “I’m just proud of Hollywood for focusing on those movies and yester year that may have been called independent type of movies, and for celebrating those people that are courageous enough to take issues and stories that would not have been considered in Hollywood. So when you see movies that actually mean something and you see that Hollywood has allowed people into an arena that focuses of quality again, then there’s a lot to celebrate,” happily says Ziman.
For more information about Children Uniting Nations visit www.childrenunitingnations.org
Read more articles/interviews relating to the 2013 CUN celebration:
Last modified: April 16, 2023