Watch Rihanna Accept Her Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year Award
As we learned last week, Rihanna is Harvard University’s 2017 Humanitarian of the Year, an honor recognizing charitable efforts including college scholarships through her Clara Lionel Foundation and a breast cancer treatment center in her hometown of Bridgetown, Barbados. Today, Rihanna formally accepted her award in a ceremony at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre.
After a choral performance and several introductions, Rihanna gave a brief speech. “When I was 5 or 6 years old, I remember watching TV and I would see these commercials,” she said. “I was watching other children suffer in other parts of the world. The commercials, y’know, you could give 25 cents and save a child’s life. I think to myself, ‘I wonder how many 25 cents I could save up to save all the kids in Africa.’ I would say to myself, ‘When I grow up, and I can get rich, I’m gonna save kids all over the world.’ I just didn’t know I would be in the position to do that by the time I was a teenager. … What the little girl watching those commercials didn’t know is that you don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian. You don’t have to be rich to help somebody.”
Watch full video of the award ceremony below. Rihanna steps up to the podium around the 1:14:00 mark.