Rihanna may be perfectly good at being bad, but on Tuesday night (February 28) the singer was honored in Harvard’s Sanders Theater for her many efforts to further humanitarian causes.
The Barbadian singer joined the ranks of previous winners like singerLionel Richie, actor James Earl Jones and former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon as the recipient of the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award on the Ivy League university’s campus in Massachusetts.
Dr. S. Allen Counter presented Rihanna with the award, saying: “Robyn Rihanna Fenty has shared her time, her talent, and her treasure for humanitarian causes around the world. And it is for these reasons that we present her with the 2017 Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award.” Specifically, Counter mentioned Rihanna’s work in providing health servicesand testing for breast cancer in Barbados as well as a scholarship program for Caribbean students who want to study in the US.
He further pointed out that Rihanna had been “gracious and kind” to the Harvard students all day.
Upon receiving the award, Rihanna was received by the audience with rapturous cheers and applause.
In her speech, Rihanna admitted that she was “humbled to be acknowledged at this magnitude for something that, in truth, [I’ve] never wanted credit for.”
“All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is ahumanitarian. People make it seem way too hard, man. You don’t have to be rich to help somebody, you don’t have to be famous, you don’t even have to be college-educated.”
The entire event was live-streamed on YouTube. Check out Rihanna’s introduction and speech around 1:13:00.