Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation To Be Highlighted For Its Global Humanitarian Efforts At 2019 Diamond Ball

The foundation is being highlighted for its efforts helping underserved communities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

| August 30 2019,

10:29 pm

Update (August 29, 2019):  Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation and its work to provide health care and education to underserved communities across the world will be highlighted at this year’s Diamond Ball.

Named in honor of the beauty mogul’s grandparents, the foundation has funded more than 59 global projects and distributed more than $13 million in grants to education and emergency response efforts since launching in 2012. 

According to the organization’s website, 175 million youth and children are affected by natural disasters globally.

In its most recent humanitarian effort to improve sexual and reproductive health care for women and girls in disaster-torn regions, the Clara Lionel Foundation has teamed up with the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region and Engineers Without Borders USA. The organizations will work toward building women’s health centers throughout the Caribbean. 

“We’re harnessing the power of philanthropy, with deep sector expertise, to help some of the most vulnerable populations — women and girls — to better prepare and withstand disasters,” said Justine Lucas, executive director of CLF. 

The annual Diamond Ball will be held in New York City on September 12.

Original: Rihanna's fifth annual Diamond Ball will honor Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and controversial activist and writer Shaun King.

"I can't imagine a better night than this year's Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled," Rihanna said in a statement. "I am particularly honored to present Prime Minister Mottley and Shaun King with this year's Diamond Ball Awards for their groundbreaking work. We are so thankful to them for joining us and making the night better than ever."

Mottley is a trailblazer in many aspects. The 53-year-old is the first female attorney general as well as the first woman to serve as deputy prime minister of Barbados. She is also the first woman to serve as the leader of the Barbados Labour Party and as prime minister. King's accomplishments include relaunching the historic North Star newspaper as a modern media venture and launching the Real Justice PAC among other things. 

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However, the announcement has reopened old wounds. King, who made his name as a figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, is considered by many to be a "scam artist," as a litany of controversies and allegations of fraudulent fundraising have surrounded the 39-year-old. The North Star founder and Morehouse grad was also at the center of several scuffles and disagreements with Black female activists, most notably Clarissa Brooks.

Earlier this year, the civil rights organizer came under fire for allegedly misappropriating funds gathered for families affected by police brutality and the criminal justice system. 

"To be clear, I did not raise any money for Cyntoia Brown, as Ms. Brooks alleged, and I certainly was not holding on to any money for Cyntoia Brown, since I never raised it in the first place," he wrote on Medium.  "I have also never received, held, touched, managed, or even had access to any money I’ve ever raised for families impacted by police brutality or racial violence." 

Twitter users shared their collective dismay when he was named an honoree. 

As for Brooks, she is staying clear of the drama for the sake of her mental health. 

The Diamond Ball is scheduled for September 12. Proceeds from auctions items — which include a signed Danny Green NBA finals jersey, a workout with Rihanna’s trainer and a Savage X Fenty 2020 Fashion Show Experience — will go toward the funding educational programs and the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program for children around the globe. 


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