Rihanna is calling for unity across “races, sexes, and religions” to tackle the issues facing the world.
On Saturday, the beauty mogul was honored with the NAACP Image Awards‘ 2020 President’s Award, issuing a call to action for allies “to pull up” and work alongside one another to create change.
“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,” the singer said.
“If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that we can only fix this world together. We can’t do it divided. I can not emphasize that enough. We can’t let the desensitivity seep in.”
Rihanna continued, “The ‘If it’s your problem, then 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? 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 Jrs and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up.”
The singer is known for funding philanthropic projects through the Clara Lionel Foundation, which she founded in 2012 to support “education and emergency response programs around the world.” The foundation raises millions every year through Rihanna’s Diamond Ball gala.
Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, previously called the singer is “a stellar public servant,” adding in a statement, “Rihanna epitomizes the type of character, grace, and devotion to justice that we seek to highlight in our President’s Award.”