Rihanna may be an 8-time Grammy winner, CFDA Style Icon, designer, actress and all-around badass but it’s the singer’s philanthropic efforts that are getting some well-deserved recognition lately.
Just over two months since being awarded Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, Rihanna was honored at last night’s Parsons School of Design Benefit for her philanthropic work and fashion influence. While addressing the audience, the singer talked about the importance of investing in millennials instead of tearing them down:
“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, which supports 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 clips of Rihanna’s speech below:
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US