Rihanna can add another bullet point to her long list of achievements. The 8-time GRAMMY winner, CFDA Style Icon, actress, designer and philanthropist has been gaining much deserved recognition in recent months.
Just two months ago Rihanna was awarded with the Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award, and on Tuesday (May 22) the Parsons School of Design recognized her for her philanthropy and fashion contributions. In her acceptance speech, Rihanna spoke about the importance of the millennial generation:
“I don’t think you get celebrated enough. You should be celebrated for every aspect of your growth and your growing pains. You should be celebrated for your creativity, for your fearlessness, for your persistence and determination. You should be celebrated for all the effort that you put into building your future, for being different, for not being given enough credit—for not having to use eye cream! My point is, we often tear our youth down when we should be building them up. At the end of the day, our future is in their hands.”
Later on in the evening, Rihanna and Donna Karan announced the winners of a new initiative in partnership with Parsons, the Design Fellowship program. The project is a merchandise line for Rihanna’s non-profit organization, Clara Lionel Foundation, supporting education, health and emergency response programs around the world. Through the partnership, Rihanna and Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation are sending three Parsons students to Haiti this summer to work with local designers on the fashion line.
Watch Rihanna’s speech below:
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The New School