Rihanna to Receive Harvard's Humanitarian of the Year Award

Rihanna to Receive Harvard's Humanitarian of the Year Award

Charity on the brain.

Charity on the brain.

Text: Jacob Seferian

It’s been a big week for Rihanna, in addition to earning her 30th Top 10 hit on the Billboard 100 with “Love on the Brain,” the Bajan superstar has been selected to receive Harvard University’s Humanitarian of the Year Award.

The singer created the Clara Lionel Foundation Scholarships Program (named in honor of her grandparents) back in 2012, and has since raised millions for Caribbean youth to study abroad. Not to mention she also headlined the Global Citizen Festival this past year, where proceeds go towards improving global education. But wait, there’s more — she’s built a “state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine” in her hometown of Bridgetown, Barbados.

Unlike other celebs, Rihanna resisted the urge to plaster the bulk of her charitable work across her Instagram, making this announcement somewhat of a surprise for fans. Past recipients of the award include activists such as Malala Yousafzai, and Aung San Suu Kyi, so the "Work" singer comes as an unexpected addition to the list.

But maybe that's part of the problem, the assumption that party girls cannot in the same breath be viable humanitarians. Too often the media confines celebrities to the personas they've built for them; but Rih is proof that a badass, sexual woman doing whatever the hell she wants is hardly an enemy, but a hero.

Credits: Cover photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Fenty Corp.

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