Bad Girl RiRi is undeniably a badass.
Rihanna’s name has been relevant in the entertainment industry for years, but in early February 2018, the singer, actress, dancer, and beauty mogul’s name went up in lights once again for a very different reason than it has before.
As an ambassador for the Global Partnership of Education (GPE), Rihanna delivered an impactful speech at the organization’s inaugural Financing Conference on February 2nd in Dakar, Senegal. The event raised $2.3BN to go towards funding education in impoverished countries.
“We’ve made tremendous progress today, but of course, our work is never done,” Rihanna said in her speech. “We have a long way to go. This is a fight we’re never gonna stop fighting until every boy and every girl has access to education.”
Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty is no stranger to working with charitable causes. The Barbados-born entertainer was named a Global Ambassador by GPE in 2016. Last year, she was the recipient of Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year Award for her work with the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF), an organization devoted to improving the quality of education and health services all over the world. Rihanna founded the CLF in 2012 and dedicated it to her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Birthwaite.
Her Humanitarian of the Year Award acceptance speech went viral. In addition to the iconic hair flip and the “So, I made it to Harvard” comment, Rihanna served up some nuggets of wisdom that resonated with the issues she has devoted a great deal of her time and effort to resolve.
“We’re all human,” she said. “We all just want a chance, a chance at life, a chance at an education, a chance at a future, really. At CLF, our mission is to impact as many lives as possible, but it starts with just one. Just one. As I stare out into this beautiful room, I see optimism, I see hope, I see the future. I know that each and every one of you has the opportunity to help someone else. All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.”
Rihanna’s starpower has given her the ability to reach thousands of people with her voice and her words. Her passion to inspire positive change in the global education system, and her choice to vocalize her mission, has helped spread awareness and launch necessary programs that will raise the standards of education throughout the world.
The “Wild Thoughts” singer teamed up with French President Emmanuel Macron for the GPE conference in Senegal. Several national leaders were in attendance at the event, including World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. At the conference, Macron pledged that France would donate $248M to the fund and that he would work to call on other world leaders to donate to the cause as well.
“Supporting education is not a choice we can make or not make, it is a necessity,” Macron said at the conference.
Rihanna is also calling on world leaders for donations by utilizing her social media platforms. Following Macron’s donation, Rihanna tweeted her “merci” to the president and to the country of France.
Rihanna, all we have to say is keep up the good “work, work, work, work, work, work.”
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