Remember when it was announced that Rihanna would be getting an award for her humanitarian work (work work work work work)? You know, just that little one from Harvard Freakin’ University? Well, on Tuesday (February 28), Rih travelled to Cambridge to accept the prestigious prize, and to give a speech that was equal parts funny and powerful.
After being given the coveted Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award, the 29-year-old took to the lectern to quip, “So, I made it to Harvard,” while sassily stroking her ponytail. “Never thought I’d be able to say that in my life, but it feels good.”
She continued, “I’m incredibly humbled by this. To be acknowledged at this magnitude, for something that, in truth, I’ve never wanted credit for.”
Rihanna’s award recognizes her work with the Clara Lionel Foundation, the Global Citizen Project, and UNICEF, as well as her generous donation to fund a breast cancer treatment center in Barbados. In her speech, the singer insisted that it’s not just the wealthy or famous who can make a difference — it’s everyone.
“We’re all human. We all just want a chance, a chance at life, a chance at an education, a chance at a future, really,” she said. “At CLF [Clara Lionel Foundation], 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.”
See Rih’s entire speech below, beginning at the 1:16:00 mark.