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Empowerment of women, girls changes world forever, Buffett says

As president and co-chairwoman of the NoVo Foundation and a world-renowned philanthropist, Jennifer Buffett has been advocating on behalf of women and girls all over the world.

The goal -- to end violence and exploitation women have struggled with throughout history.

As the keynote speaker of the "What She's Made Of" celebration, sponsored by the Western New York Women's Fund, Buffett delivered her message of empowerment Wednesday night to an audience largely made up of women in Kleinhans Music Hall.

The message was clear:

If you give girls the power to lead, be heard and contribute to society in more ways than what has been traditionally accepted, the result will have a lasting, positive impact and change the world forever.

"Nobody gets here without our women and girls," Buffett said. "Any chance I get to be among women who are working in their community, I take it."

Buffett, the daughter-in-law of billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, struck a chord with the audience as she reflected on her personal struggles and what it took to find her voice and just how much of a difference one voice can really make.

In 2006, Buffett with her husband, Peter, started the NoVo Foundation, focusing solely on the empowerment of women globally.

Since then, they have been working with the Nike Foundation to raise the importance of girls worldwide.

"When you invest in girls, everyone benefits," Buffett said . "We hope it will result in a shift and balance that I hope will heal the world."

e-mail: emazzu@buffnews.com