On Saturday night, Rihanna was honored with the President’s Award for her philanthropic efforts at the NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, California. While delivering her speech, she was was sure to pull the focus away from herself and on the larger message that night.
“Tonight is not really about me, because the purpose is bigger than me, right?” she said upon accepting her award. “It’s not bigger than us together, but it’s bigger than me, because my part is a very small part of the work that is being done in this world and the work that is yet to be done.”
She added that she was “lucky she was able to start the Clara Lionel Foundation [CLF],” an organization named for her grandmother that helps fund global education and emergency preparedness, in 2012. She said that focusing on the differences we have with others will only create more divisiveness—one person’s problem is everyone’s problem.
“If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that we can fix this world together,” she said. “We can’t do it divided. I can’t emphasize that enough. We can’t let the de-sensitivity seep in—the ‘If it’s your problem, it’s not mine.’ ‘It’s a woman’s problem.’ ‘It’s a black people problem.’ ‘It’s a poor people problem.’ How many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? Show of hands? Well then, they want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem, too. So when we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown, Jr.s and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up.”
She wore a purple Givenchy gown with Manolo Blahnik custom satin heels, Chopard “Temptations” gemstone earrings, and a “Haute Joaillerie” sapphire earring.
Rihanna seems to keep all of her work focused on how she can help others. Last fall, ahead of her annual Diamond Ball supporting CLF, she also released a special Savage x Fenty collection. All proceeds went to CLF.
“You can do good and look good when you buy this Xclusive sleepwear set,” Rihanna said in a press release. “It’s comfortable enough to wear to bed and you will sleep well knowing you have given back and made a difference.”