Rihanna Runs Bean Town as Harvard’s Humanitarian

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Rihanna presented with Humanitarian of Year award by Allen Counter, director of Harvard Foundation. 

Rihanna was shining bright like a diamond as she accepted Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year award yesterday at Sanders Theatre at the university.

“So I made it to Harvard — never thought I’d be able to say that in my life,” Rihanna mused as she opened her acceptance speech.

Bad gal Ri Ri, decked out in an off-the-shoulder, belted tweed dress, was honored by the Ivy League for launching the Clara Lionel Foundation, which awards college scholarships to Caribbean students attending US schools.

The Work singer was also recognized for building the Clara Braithwaite Oncology and Nuclear Medicine Centre at Queen Elizabeth hospital in her hometown of Barbados.

Fun Fact: the centre was renamed after Rihanna’s grandmother after the pop star donated $1.75 million to the Bridgetown hospital in 2012.

The Barbadian beauty made sure to honor her memory by passing along some of granny’s wise words in her speech. “You don’t have to be rich to help somebody…if you got a dollar, there’s plenty to share.”

Rihanna’s full remarks are below–they were live streamed.

 

Prince’s Legacy of Philanthropy

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The purple Prince left us with more than a music catalogue to match our every emotion. (Although I’m always in the mood for “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry.” The two have been on instant replay since his passing.)

His most under wraps contribution–not having to do with the purple piano–was giving back to little known causes.

A point his good friend Van Jones, political activist, told CNN this weekend. (Check the interview below.) Prince helped Jones launch #YesWeCode, an org that seeks to teach 100,000 underprivileged kids coding. On one condition, Jones couldn’t tell anyone Prince created and jumpstarted the program. Yet, performed during the launch at ESSENCE Music Festival 2014.

Prince’s generosity didn’t stop there. In 2011, the majestic one donated $1 million to Harlem Children’s Zone during his “Welcome 2 America” tour dates in NYC. He even put up one of his guitars to auction off. And gave $250,000 each to Uptown Dance Academy and the American Ballet Theatre.

Oh, and if you’re living under a solar paneled roof in the Bay Area you can thank Prince for saving the environment. He footed the bill as the face for environmental group Green for All.

Jones says Prince’s philanthropy is just as important as his music.

He did not want it be known publicly, and he did not want us to say it. But I’m gonna say it because the world needs to know that it wasn’t just the music. The music was just one way he tried to help the world, but he was helping every day of his life

R.I.P, Prince. Thank you for your numerous gifts. There will be no other like you.