Five Times Rihanna Mastered the Art of Philanthropy

Five Times Rihanna Mastered the Art of Philanthropy

In honor of the superstar's 30th birthday, we take a look at her important charitable deeds.

In honor of the superstar's 30th birthday, we take a look at her important charitable deeds.

Text: Gillian Rivera

Text: Erin McDowell

We can all agree that Rihanna is a total queen. From her bold fashion choices and hit singles to singlehandedly changing the world of shade-inclusive beauty, Rih Rih is a boss through and through. However, one aspect of this icon's life that many may not be quite as aware of is her efforts across the world to change people's lives for the better. Over the years, Rihanna has given her time, energy, and fundraising superpower to noble causes such as the Believe Foundation, UNICEF, her own Clara Lionel Foundation,  and many more. On the star's 30th birthday, we recognize just five of the times that Rihanna was a queen of the people.

The Clara Lionel Foundation

In 2012, the singer launched her own charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation. Named after her grandparents, the mission driving this organization is access to proper education for children worldwide, as well as quality healthcare. With an aim on impoverished countries, Rihanna's initiatives support a brighter future for children otherwise unable to gain those much-needed resources.

@claralionelfdn: Artist, icon, humanitarian and our founder. Happy birthday @badgalriri! ❤️

Back in September, Rihanna hosted her third annual Diamond Ball, proceeds of which are donated to her Clara Lionel Foundation. Held in New York City, Dave Chappelle hosted the event, followed up by a 30-minute set by Kendrick Lamar, and closed out by Calvin Harris. It's a tough ticket to score, as it's typically reserved for the elite. Guests this past year included Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Emily Ratajkowski, Karlie Kloss, Young Thug, Cardi B, and a taped message from President Barack Obama, urging attendees to donate.

@badgalriri: thank you to everyone who attended and supported the @claralionelfdn 's #DIAMONDBALL last night! Thank you to @kendricklamar @chappellercmh and @calvinharris for making it a night we'll never forget!

Global Partnership for Education

Rihanna has continuously worked with French President Emmanuel Macron to work on global education efforts. In a similar spirit to her Clara Lionel Foundation, Rihanna is pushing political representatives to fund accessible education for developing countries. As an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education, Rihanna speaks on behalf on behalf of education for girls, gender equality, and those affected by war-ridden countries. Earlier in the month, Rihanna met with Macron once again to host to the GPE conference as part of his two-day trip to Senegal. It was during this meeting that Macron pledged 200 million euros to the cause.

@claralionelfdn: Reflecting on all that was achieved last week in Dakar and the $2.3 billion raised to #fundeducation via @gpforeducation! We are excited to continue to work to make sure every child has access to quality education with your support! Check out our stories for some highlights 💥💥 #CLF

Rihanna Teamed Up with Prince Harry for AIDS Awareness

Rihanna has made it her mission to bring visibility and strength to the people of Barbados and beyond. In December 2016, the artist met with Prince Harry to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Barbadian independence and spread awareness about AIDS. The two public figures each took an HIV test, an important step in destigmatizing the disease and bringing the issue to the forefront of the global conversation.

@badgalriri: Teamed up with Prince Harry today and got tested to raise awareness for #WorldAIDSDay. It's so important to know your status! Get tested. #ProTESTHIV

Bad Gal Goes To Harvard

Rihanna’s devotion to activism hasn’t gone unnoticed by one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States. In 2017, Rih Rih was honored by Harvard University with the Humanitarian of the Year award for her involvement in a number of worthy causes, including building an oncology and nuclear medicine research center in her hometown of Bridgetown, Barbados. The “state-of-the-art center” was revolutionary in the efforts to diagnose and treat breast cancer in the region, according to Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter. In a tongue-in-cheek tweet sent out by the Harvard Alumni Association, the university acknowledged Rihanna’s inspiring “work work work work work”.

@harvard: Today, Rihanna (@badgalriri) received the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year award for her work supporting education and health care in Caribbean and developing countries. “Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” said S. Allen Counter, the Harvard Foundation’s director.

Fenty Beauty

The unlikely magnum opus to Rihanna’s philanthropy portfolio, however, may be her very own line of makeup, the uber-popular and acclaimed Fenty Beauty. Created “so that women everywhere would be included,” Fenty features an extremely diverse line of shades for all varieties of skin tones and encouraged an important dialogue about the necessity of inclusion in the makeup world. Talk about a total game changer.

@badgalriri: Squad. Get the limited edition #GALAXYCOLLECTION before it’s gone!! @fentybeauty

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