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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was recently awarded an honorary degree in Fine Arts by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) at its 136th Commencement ceremony, June 2019.
Alongside Adichie, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson; Artist, Theaster Gates and Activist, Nadya Tolokonnikova were also given honorary degrees while Joseph Chazan was awarded the inaugural President’s Medal of Honor for his tremendous support to the institution.
This degree by the RISD becomes Adichie’s 4thhonorary degree in the space of one month and 11th honorary degree from a major US university. Recall that in May 2019, she received three honorary degrees from three American universities in less than 10 days – Doctor of Humane Letters from the American University (Washington DC, 10th May), Doctor of Humane Letters from Georgetown University (Washington DC, 18th May) and at Doctor of Letters honorary degree from Yale University (Connecticut, 20th May).
A writer, thinker and activist, Adichie’s voice has helped shape some of the most pressing discussions of our time. Her widely translated works include the award-winning novels “Purple Hibiscus”, “Half of a Yellow Sun” and “Americanah”, along with the book-length essay “We Should All Be Feminists”, which is based on her influential 2012 TED Talk of the same name. A 2008 MacArthur Fellow, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her most recent book is “Dear Ijeawele”, or a “Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions”.