Rihanna the humanitarian had her day at Harvard as she went to the Ivy League Campus to accept the Peter J Gomes 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year award.
The award-winning musician has apparently had her hand in a lot of humanitarian pots that not many people are aware of. As one of the students who introduced her said;
“She’s headlined award shows, fashion magazines, and bejewelled flask memes but today we’re writing a different headline: Rihanna the humanitarian,”
“She empowers kids from Barbados to Malawi so they can shine bright like a diamond too.”
That would not be the only reference to famous Rihanna song lyrics that were made as the singer was introduced to the stage and it was far from being the last statement that showed just how much the singer’s charity efforts were appreciated.
Here are four of the ways that various Harvard students painted a picture of Rihanna the humanitarian;
- One of the students using another song reference pointed out that Rihanna showed them how to use their talents in the service of others:
“Thank you, Rihanna, for inspiring us to use our abilities to ‘work, work, work’ and to exercise these abilities in the service of others.”
- Another student spoke about Rihanna’s support of the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which provides children with access to education in over 60 developing countries and also the work of her nonprofit Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program in 2012 for students attending college in the US from Caribbean countries:
“Rihanna’s projects provides scholarships of up to $50,000 per year to students across the Caribbean.”
- One student spoke about her work in global health:
“Part of Rihanna’s humanitarian work has been to develope a cancer diagnosis and treatment center at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados.”
- Yet another student had high praises for her winning as a woman of color:
“Rihanna, as a sexualized woman, reclaims her sexuality. And as a woman of color, exerts her power unapologetically.”
Rihanna took the stage afterward and delivered a speech that started with the playful words; “So, I made it to Harvard…” and went on to embody all the inspiration that she had just been praised for and showed just how deserving she is of the tag, Rihanna the humanitarian.
Here’s our favorite part of Rihanna the humanitarian’s speech;
“We’re all human and we all just want a chance. A chance at life, a chance at an education, a chance at a future, really. I know that each and everyone one of you have the ability to help someone else. All you need to do is help one person. Expect nothing in return. To me that is a humanitarian. People make it seem way too hard, man. You just do whatever you can to help in anyway that you can, make a commitment to help one person.”
Rihanna ended her speech with a reference to her grandmother (the inspiration for the Clara Lionel Foundation after she passed away from cancer) saying; “My grandmother always used to say: ‘If you got a dollar, you got plenty to share.'”