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.

 

WCW | Rihanna Named Global Ambassador To Foster Education

 

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Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen, with Rihanna and Global Partnership for Education (GPE) chair, Julia Gillard

This may be the cherry on top of Rihanna’s sweet year of accollades.

Someone grab the cake, cake, cake, cake, cake to celebrate. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

The navy’s idol was appointed Global Ambassador through a partnership with her Clara Lionel Foundation and Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

The blending of the two orgs is to advocate for the billions of children across the globe without an education. And the 330 million kids enrolled in a school, but still aren’t learning.

So, how will Rihanna and her crew combat this?

GPE operates in more than 60 developing countries, spreading their message that “every child receive a quality education.” By making children living in poor or ravished communities a priority.

As GPE’s Global Ambassador, Rih Rih will travel the globe to encourage world leaders and policy makers to get behind educating vulnerable children raised in communities in crisis.

The announcement comes on the heels of Rihanna headlining the Global Citizen Festival on Saturday. The festival’s goal is to end extreme poverity by 2030 by getting people to participate in charity acts.

Rihanna is indeed a rare diamond.

Women Wisdom Wednesday | Black Girls Rock! Awardees Dropped Major Life Lessons

Black Girls Rock! creator Beverly Bond said it best, “10 years in and Black girls still rock.” Yaaass, always have and always will. Even if some still need convincing (looking at you Catfish’s Nev.) there is no better recognition than from your fellow cocoa sistas. So here is a sprinkling of sage advice on how us Black girls can keep rockin’.

Danai Gurira, Actress “The Walking Dead” and Playwright

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“I want to encourage all these other black girls. I know it can get tough out there. It can get downright ugly. I have walked the path, or some version of it, but know you are designed for greatness. And black girl, you rock because you have so much potential. Your power and your resilience will help to heal this world.

You have a resilience that is in your DNA…whether you want it or not. You are what the world is waiting for. Whether the world acknowledges that or not. Step into your uniqueness. Protect it. Nurture it. It is precious. No one can do what you can do or contribute what you are destined and designed to contribute.”

Shonda Rhimes, Creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” “HTGAWM”

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“For those of us up here on the stage, our careers have been named. Our paths have been chosen. We have picked our mountains and we have started to climb it. Because the minute someone starts giving you awards, you are more history than future.

Your slates are blank. Your paths are clear and your stories are whatever you decide they’re going to be. You are the builders of the 21st century. You have a right to the universe. You were given then right simply by being born. So you already rock… Change the world. And when you’ve done that, change it again.”

Rihanna

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“I believe God put us all here for a reason and we all have our purpose and we are here to fulfill our purpose individually. I think the thing that’s kept me sane, the thing that’s kept me humble, the thing that’s kept me successful is being myself. I only know how to do that.

This world is so big and it can be so confusing at times that you tend to forget and you tend to be so indented or tainted by society and the only thing that’s kept me going is being myself. And the minute you learn to love yourself you would not want to be anybody else. Role model is not the title they like to give me, but…I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle.”

Beverly Bond

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“Black girls still have to grow up with pervasive and paradoxical messages that say that our Black is not beautiful, but our features can be bought and sold to enhance the beauty of other women.

When Black girls swag and the black girl’s aesthetic are only dope without the Black girl but sky rocket in value and get put on a pedestal when it’s put on other bodies, our girls internalize that to mean that they are less beautiful. I started #BlackGirlsRock because I love us and I believe in us. Why do I need to get permission from you to affirm me? I want us to walk righteous in our spirit. Own your magic, walk in your purpose, rock in your truth.”

Drake and Rihanna Give Sick Fan ‘Best Day of her Life’

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Rihanna and Drake are a winning combo on the pop princess’ ANTI World Tour–slaying the stage in MIA earlier this month.

But their work didn’t stop there. They made one special fan smile a little bit harder when surprising her backstage at Miami’s American Airlines Arena.

Megan, a young cancer patient, dream became a reality when meeting her two idols.

So, it was definitely an Instagram-able moment, which she posted  with the ecstatic caption “BEST DAY OF MY LIFE! I MET LOML (love of my life)”

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Now that’s how you kickoff a tour.

Oh, Rihanna’s twerk fest on Drake doesn’t hurt either.

 

Rihanna Throws 1st Annual Diamond Ball to Benefit Clara Lionel Foundation

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Rihanna shined bright like a diamond last night; draped in Zac Posen couture gowns and adorned with Chopard jewels, in honor of the pop tart’s inaugural gala for the Clara Lionel Foundation, held in the ritsy 90210 zip code aka Bev Hills.

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Rih Rih treated celeb attendees–Tia and Corey Hardrict, Kim and Kris Kardashian, Salma Hayek, rapper Fabolous, Big Sean, Tyrese–and the Fenty family with her old and new tunes with a live orchestra backing the “Umbrella” singer up.

But not before Brad Pitt cued the orchestra up and gave a cringe-worthy intro. This is when a teleprompter with very funny, witty writers comes in handy. Not everyone can be Jimmy Kimmel, oh he hosted the ball, BTW.

The black-tie affair was to highlight Rihanna’s foundation, named in honor of grandparents Clara and Lionel, that aims to “improve the quality of life for communities globally in the areas of health, education, arts and culture.”

To raise money for the Clara Lionel Foundation, founded in 2012, the org launched an online auction that offers meet and greets with Rihanna as well as Kanye West (if you’re in to it) and other exclusive items. Click here to peruse the offerings.

Hoorah!! Rihanna, J-Hud and Christina Milian Support Veterans

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Whether you were cheering them on at the Veterans’ Day parade or shout your gratitude to the closest man/woman in uniform.Thanking REAL heros for their bravery and sacrifice in defending us was very, very necessary for Veterans’ Day.

Actor/Rapper Ice-T was honored for his service in the Army by riding a float at NYC’s Veterans Day parade.

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Singer/actress Christina Milian showed her troop support by putting her arms to work by taking the “Pledge Ur Allegiance Challenge” from Hope for the Holidays, which requires you drop and give as many pushups as you can handle. In Christina’s case it’s 20.

Good thing she worked out ’cause how else would she be able to hoist that massive check she donated (a major part of the Challenge) to Hope for the Holidays.

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Songbirds Jennifer Hudson and Rihanna sung their appreciation at HBO’s Concert for Valor in D.C. During live performances, RiRi sang her biggest hits, including “Diamonds in the Sky” to a huge armed forces audience. And brought out her duet partner, Eminem to share the stage.

J-Hud opened the concert with her powerful take on the “Star Spangled Banner.”

All money raised from the concert will go towards orgs that benefit veterans.

Thank you to all those who served and still do.

MODEL EFFECT: Jourdan Dunn Named Ambassador for Sickle Cell Association

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It’s sickle cell awareness month and to raise awareness for this overlooked disease–that more of us suffer from than you think–we’re highlighting a model spokesperson. No, literally!! Jourdan Dunn was tapped by Sickle Cell Disease Association of America to be their ambassador.

What does the gorg supermodel that slays fashion runways and a Beyoncé vid have in common with a debilitating illness affecting red blood cells?

To erase those thought bubbles from your head, here are a few good reasons Jourdan Dunn wasn’t just a pretty face for the Association: She tells Vogue she carries the sickle cell gene and passed it onto her four-year-old son, Riley.

jdunnandsonShe knew he would get the illness but still was heartbroken when she received the diagnosis. But swallowed her guilt and put on her brave face to deal with the reality.

Now she’s educating others through her Cell for Gratitude charity initiative. She already put her fashion skills to good use by designing a cell necklace in which proceeds go to the Association.

dunnandfriendsAnd rallied famous friends–Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, Alek Wek, Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne–to her “Cell for Gratitude” launch during New York Fashion Week.

I don’t want people to feel sorry for my son or me. I’m not ashamed about sickle cell anemia. I want to talk about it because there are a lot of people in the industry who have sickle cell or who have a family member that has it, but they don’t talk about it. Many others don’t know if they even carry the gene.

Unlike normal blood cells that are round, those with sickle cells are oval shaped. And when the blood cells are clogged–due to infection or body temp changes–it triggers unbearable pain.

Jourdan says her goal as Association ambassador is to brush off the shame of the illness and get people talking.

I want people who have it to speak up because sickle cell anemia isn’t something to be ashamed of. There are other people dealing with it, and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye.

For those itching to contribute to this under-the-radar cause blood donations are greatly appreciated. To see if you qualify to give, click here

To read a full version of the Vogue article click here

Rihanna Reveals $40 Million Goal for MAC Cosmetics Line

Image Credit: MAC Cosmetics

Image Credit: MAC Cosmetics

Rihanna dropped in on GMA this morning to not only talk about her “surprising” Grammy win on Sunday, but also discuss her ambitions for her Viva Glam cosmetic line.

Not only is the pop diva expanding her role to philanthropic partner of the cosmetic line, she also revealed to Robin Roberts  her goal of adding $40 million into the MAC AIDS fund–which has already raised $325 million since the line’s inception in 1992– and an extra $2 milly to UN AIDS with her deep red lip glass and lipstick line.

Rihanna expressed how important it was for the youth to realize how serious an epidemic AIDS is to them. She cautioned “her Navy” to continue to have fun, but be responsible, and “protect yourself.” Preaching that no one can take care of you like you can.

And the best way to get behind Rih Rih’s cause is to purchase the MAC products as she instructs.

Buying the lipstick is the most important part of this because every penny you spend on the lipstick or lipglass goes to the MAC AIDS Fund.

To hear the full interview with Robin and Rihanna check the video below.

How Rapper T.I.’s Christmas Party Can Help Philippine Victims

This tee is your ticket to TI's party. Photo credit: teespring.com

This tee is your ticket to TI’s party.
Photo credit: teespring.com

I guess Queen Bey wasn’t the only artist with surprises up her sleeve. Did you download her album yet? You must, if you haven’t already.

Anyhoo, T.I. announced on Facebook he wants to whisk 15 of his lucky fans off to Miami for his Christmas bash on Dec. 20th. The only place in the country that isn’t completely frozen these days.

If you’re interested in sitting  poolside drinking a Mai Tai on T.I.’s tab *raised hand* please click here and purchase a custom T-shirt from teespring. All sales from the tees will go towards Philippine relief efforts as a result of Typhoon Haiyan.

Oh, did we also mention that Ciara’s soon-to-be hubby Future would be attending the Holiday shindig?

Speaking of Philippine relief…Rihanna is doing her part with UNICEF to keep support coming to those poor souls.

To continue to help Philippine victims and their families through song go to iTunes and download Songs for Philippines.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/songs-for-the-philippines/id764022051

 

 

 

Kelly Rowland and Monica Promote Domestic Violence Prevention month

Sports Illustrated 2013

Sports Illustrated 2013

If you’re anything like me, your eyes were glued to both the TV screen and newspaper headlines this week for the latest developments in the Oscar Pistorius murder case. It’s still hard to believe that the man shivering and weeping in a small court room in South Africa is the same guy  I was cheering for five months ago at the London Olympics as the first double amputee to compete with able-bodied runners in the 400M race. Despite his last place finish, I admired his courage and stamina for making Olympic history, and living up to the nickname ‘Blade Runner’ with his carbon fiber blades that pierced the track. Fast forward to today where I imagined he would be prepping for his Olympic comeback in 2016, not a court case where he is suspected of premeditated murder charges against his girlfriend.

Nor could I envision the stoic, yet focused CBS 2 anchorman Rob Morrison having a history of domestic violence that dates back to 2003. The New York Daily News reports today that Morrison’s wife made repeated calls to cops to complain about her husband’s drunken abuse that involved choking her until she became unconscious.

news.softpedia.com

news.softpedia.com

And the list goes on and on and on. Yet, the shock and surprise remain the same. Violence against women has always been an issue whispered about with a shake of the head, but never publicly scrutinized or condemned by the media or within the abuser’s community. However, no one could turn a blind eye towards wild child Rihanna’s rekindled romance with former abuser Chris Brown. Rihanna explained her reasoning in Rolling Stone:

I decided it was more important for me to be happy. I wasn’t going to let anybody’s opinion get in the way of that. Even if it’s a mistake, it’s my mistake.

I think everyone gave the pop diva the side eye for that comment. Not just because she chose to go back with her abuser, but, at her naivety to think her actions wouldn”t have ripple affects on the millions of fans that worship her. Which is surprising considering her 2009 interview with Diane Sawyer; Rihanna admitted she couldn’t live with the fact that someone in a similar situation getting killed because they chose to follow her example of reuniting with their abuser.

A mistake that resulted in 1,336 domestic violence deaths in 2010, 82 percent of those deaths were women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Domestic Violence is an ongoing cycle that we hear about nearly, on a daily basis but very few calls for action are being made. The re-authorization of The Violence Against Women Act (landmark legislation that is a buffer against domestic assault) is still locked in limbo waiting for the House’s approval, which was ordinarily supported by both parties in Washington.

House Speaker John Boehner says the House “will act in a timely fashion in some way.”

R & B superstars Monica, Kelly Rowland and rap legend MC Lyte saw the need to get involved and will participate in a PSA that helps young girls coping with abusive relationships. The PSA is part of the Yell Campaign Initiative hosted by Saving Our Daughters. In an MTV interview Kelly said it was important to address this issue head on.

I wanted to use my voice to save young girls. This domestic violence thing has gotten so out of control. As I travel around the world for IHMG (I Heart My Girlfriends, an empowerment group Kelly founded), I meet so many young girls who openly admit to being abused and they are so young…my heart breaks. We have to take a stand against this and let young girls know that this is wrong and try to break some of the silence about domestic violence.

Even Ms. NeNe “I”m Rich, Bitch” Leakes wanted to support the cause by participating in a Celebrity Price is Right Match held this week. Leakes was a victim of domestic violence and is also a supporter of Saving Our Daughters that aims to develop programs that aim to empower women against bullying, date abuse, hate crimes and violence.