October 31, 2019
Aoki Lee Simmons was one of the students of Harvard University who welcomed Queen Latifah when she was recently awarded by the institution with its highest honor.
When Queen Latifah recently accepted an award from Harvard University, Kimora Lee Simmons’ daughter, Aoki Lee Simmons was among the university’s student population who welcomed her and watched her from the audience.
Aoki is in her freshman year at Harvard after proudly revealing she was accepted by the institution at 16 years old.
Her mother was equally proud when she shared the news on her Instagram in March.
“We are sooo super proud of YOU!! Such hard work and only 16! You did it! It took years of super dedication and lots of tears! But HERE YOU ARE!!! GO GIRL!!!” Kimora wrote as a message to her daughter.
Now that Aoki has blended in with the college crowd of the Ivy League school, one of the highlights of her freshman year was seeing her “Auntie Dana” as she fondly calls Queen (birth name Dana Elaine Owens) when the actress received Harvard’s W. E. B. Du Bois Medal.
Aoki shared a photo of the two of them during the event and congratulated her auntie for her achievement.
“Congratulations Auntie Dana @queenlatifah on your W.E.B du Bois medal for your amazing contributions to the culture,” shewrote
“Loved welcoming you and @lbsexxy01 to campus and watching the ceremony! I really enjoyed getting to know the other medalists including a personal hero @robertfredericksmith ! Thank you for coming love you.”
Queen joined six other awardees, each earning a nod from the prestigious institution for their achievements in their respective fields and contributions to African and African-American culture and history.
"You have to be strong, and be courageous, and know that if you believe in it, it’s gonna happen. Don’t give up. Do not give up. Do not quit. Fight for it."
She also opened up about her struggles before achieving success and what she did to persevere.
“I get in the backyard sometimes and I scream ‘Fight! Fight Fight! That's me fighting for my life. Fighting against drugs and alcohol. Fighting against mental illness, fighting against racism, sexism, all of it,” she said and advised, “You’re gonna have to fight."