Queen Latifah is among the honorees being recognized by Harvard University this year for their contributions to Black history and culture.
The “Girls Trip” star received the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, along with six other recipients on October 22, reports The Hill. W.E.B. Du Bois was an esteemed scholar, writer, editor, and civil rights pioneer who became the first Black student to earn a doctorate from Harvard in 1895.
The award is given “to individuals in the United States and across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African and African American culture and the life of the mind,” according to a press release.
“Recipients have included scholars, artists, writers, journalists, philanthropists, and public servants whose work has bolstered the field of African and African American studies,” the school said.
Other honorees include poet and educator Elizabeth Alexander, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie Bunch III, poet Rita Dove, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television Sheila Johnson, artist Kerry James Marshall and Robert Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive of Vista Equity Partners.
Past recipients include Colin Kaepernick, Ava DuVernay and Oprah.
Queen Latifah recently attended the Women’s Achieve Summit in Richmond, Virginia, where she encouraged attendees to vote.
“People thinking that it’s no big deal, it doesn’t matter, but it does matter,” she said.
“People need to go back and take a look at a few pictures and see some people being sprayed with hoses and being bitten by dogs for their right to vote, and maybe it will spark something inside of them.”
The 2019 W.E.B. Du Bois Medal class was celebrated on October 22. Cornel West gave the closing remarks at the ceremony.