While most know Rihanna for her stellar voice, she actually spends a lot of her time leading foundations around the world. Yesterday, in recognition of her multiple charitable initiatives, Rihanna accepted the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award as Harvard University’s 2017 Humanitarian of the Year.
The award is given in honor of Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes in recognition of “prominent public-spirited leaders whose works and deeds have served to improve the quality of our lives and have inspired us to greater heights.” The award aims to recognize and highlight members of our society that promote the welfare of others.
“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados. She also created the Clara Lionel Foundation Scholarship for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizens Project, a multiyear campaign that will provide children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.”
The singer founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, naming it after her grandparents. The foundation gives aid to disadvantaged countries around the world. Just last month, Rihanna traveled to Malawi to discuss education improvement in East Africa with several government officials, mentors, students, and teachers.
Rihanna’s dedication to assisting women and girls to receive the care and attention they need to survive is definitely worth recognition. Her work is certainly important, and serves as a reminder that girls and women around the world do not receive some of the things we in first-world countries are used to receiving daily. Though we still have a long way to go to reach equality here in the US, it is important to continue to look outside of ourselves and empower those who lack access to the resources, medicine, and education they need.
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