Rihanna is racking up the honors. After being named Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year, the pop superstar will receive an award from the Parsons School of Design.
In the past, the art and design college has honored DKNY’s Donna Karan and Sarah Jessica Parker with the award, which recognizes individuals who empower young women. RiRi will receive her recognition alongside Eileen Fisher and Neiman Marcus at the 69th annual gala on May 22 at Pier 60.
“It’s such a thrill to know that a design school as prestigious as Parsons School of Design would present me with this honor,” Rihanna said in a statement. “I consistently find creative and exciting designs coming from Parsons alumni, so I feel a deep connection to the school. But I am especially grateful that Parsons would recognize me for the work I’ve done in regards to philanthropy.”
Parsons will honor Rihanna for her work in music, fashion, and philanthropy. “Parsons is proud to present Rihanna with this honor, as she has inspired millions through her powerful music and distinct style,” said Joel Towers, the school’s executive dean. “She has championed our recent alumni on a number of occasions by wearing their designs. She is also creating important philanthropic programs, which support communities by fostering effective education, health, and emergency response programs around the world through her Clara Lionel Foundation.”
Last month, while accepting her Humanitarian of the Year award at Harvard, Rihanna explained what it means to be so giving. “We’re all human,” she said. “We all just want a chance, a chance at life, a chance at an education, a chance at a future, really. At CLF [Clara Lionel Foundation], our mission is to impact as many lives as possible, but it starts with just one. Just one. As I stare out into this beautiful room, I see optimism, I see hope, I see the future. I know that each and every one of you has the opportunity to help someone else. All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.”
RiRi’s humanitarian work continues. In September, she and her Clara Lionel Foundation are set to host the third annual Diamond Ball in New York City to raise money for health and education around the world.