• Rihanna used her acceptance speech to call for unity and progress. (Getty Images North America)Source: Getty Images North America
"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 emphasise that enough."
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

24 Feb 2020 - 2:56 PM  UPDATED 24 Feb 2020 - 2:56 PM

Singer, fashion mogul and businesswoman Rihanna has called for unity during her acceptance speech for the President's Award at the 51st NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) Image Awards.

"I'm lucky I was able to start the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012," Rihanna said during her speech, referring to the nonprofit organisation which helps fund international education and emergency response programs.

"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 emphasise that enough."

"How many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions?," the singer continued, with everyone in the hall raising their 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."

CNN reports that President and CEO of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson, lauded Rihanna not only for her "groundbreaking career as an artist and musician," but also for being a "stellar public servant."

"From her business achievements through Fenty, to her tremendous record as an activist and philanthropist, Rihanna epitomises the type of character, grace, and devotion to justice that we seek to highlight in our President's Award," he said.

You can watch the full speech below:

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