Chance The Rapper announced earlier this week that he will donate $1 million to the Chicago Public Schools Foundation “for arts and enrichment programming.”
Making the announcement during a press conference at Westcott Elementary School, at his native South Side neighborhood of West Chatham, the rapper presented an oversized check to students as they flanked him on both sides. The benevolent gesture occurred a few days after the Coloring Book rapper had a meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to discuss what he believes is “a lack of state funding directed towards the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) systems.”
The $1 million donation was supported via ticket sales for the Grammy Award winning rapper’s upcoming spring tour through a joint effort between concert promoters (including Live Nation, AEG and Ticketmaster) and local venues and promoters across the USA. The rapper did not divulge details on how the money would be raised, however he stated that the aforementioned parties “were able to band together to use funds from ticket sales to donate to CPS.”
“The governor gave me a lot of vague answers in our meeting and since has called me over the weekend,” said Chance addressing a group of reporters and students. “Our talks were unsuccessful,” Chance continued, “Gov. Rauner still won’t commit to giving Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.” Chance’s efforts arise from Rauner’s veto of a bill to delegate $215 million in funding to CPS, for which he calls out the Governor by stating the decision as “an important compromise on behalf of the schools and the students across the state”.
Chance made an ardent case for protesting the veto of the bill, explaining that CPS would have to lay off thousands of staff or even cut the school year short by 13 days. “This means over 380,000 kids will not have adult-supervised activities in June and could possibly be put in harm’s way,” he added.
Watch Chance speak at the press conference below:
— Corbin Reiff (@CorbinReiff) March 6, 2017
Apart from Chance’s $1 million, Social Works, a local non-profit organization that the “Same Drugs” hitmaker created last year, will match every $100,000 raised for CPS with an additional $10,000 to be allocated for specific schools. Visit the website to donate to CPS here.
Chance has urged others, including fellow hip-hop artist Common, to support him in his cause to “take care of [Chicago] kids. With the stroke of the pen, the governor has the power to change that,” he said. “This isn’t about politics. This isn’t about posturing. Everybody and they momma knows about what’s going on in Chicago,” he added, referring to the record-high murder rate. “It’s constantly talked about. But we’re about to enhance the conversation. As a private citizen, as a parent and as a product of CPS, I’m asking that you guys join and fight with me, organize with me, mobilize with me, for the interest of the children of Chicago. This is the very beginning.”