Rihanna received the President’s Award at the 51st annual NAACP Image Awards on Saturday night (February 22nd).
She was honored with one the biggest awards of the night for her extraordinary philanthropic efforts across the globe: she’s raised millions of dollars for disaster relief, education abroad and awareness for issues affecting communities all over the world.
When accepting the award, Rihanna gave an inspiring speech.
“Tonight is not really about me, because the purpose is bigger than me, right? 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. I’m lucky I was able to start the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that we can fix this world together. We can’t do it divided. I can’t emphasize that enough. We can’t let the desensitivity 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 closed her speech with another call for unity: “Imagine what we could do together. Thank you for this honor.”
Watch Rihanna’s speech in full below.
— BET (@BET) February 23, 2020