Chance the Rapper is making a statement with his generosity. The rapper – real name Chancellor Jonathan Bennet – is giving $1 million to fund the Chicago Public School system. The donation isn’t just a one-time dish-out, either. Chance is using it as a call to action, inviting other entities to follow the lead and help out.
Known for his odd method of releasing plenty of his music for free, Chance first burst onto the scene in 2012. Since then, the 23-year-old rapper gone on to win a couple of Grammys. Having earned a little bit of fame and fortune, he has come home to Chicago in order to give back.
If It’s Broke, Fix It
Chance the Rapper himself is a product of the Chicago Public School System. Despite doubts by some teachers at Jones College Prep High School about his musical aspirations, he’s done well for himself. The $1 million dollar donation signifies his intention to fix something he considers broken: “Our kids should not be held hostage because of political positions,” he said.
He had earlier met with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. However, he was unsatisfied with the results from the meeting and the “vague” promises made.
He expressed the same frustration during a press conference, saying, “I met him to urge him to do his job, and for him to honor his original commitment to commit $215 million to CPS, so our kids can finish the year strong.” The lack of funding would otherwise force thousands of public school employees to be laid off. The school year is also in danger of being cut short by 13 days.
— Corbin Reiff (@CorbinReiff) March 6, 2017
Chance also expressed the necessity of making the arts part and parcel of CPS education: “As an artist and afterschool teacher, I know the arts are essential. They teach students invaluable lessons like practice makes perfect, that small differences can have large effects, and that collaboration leads to creativity.”
Chance’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by other personalities around Chicago. Former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted out her appreciation for the rapper’s generosity:
Thanks @chancetherapper for giving back to the Chicago community, which gave us so much. You are an example of the power of arts education.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) March 6, 2017
The artist has also committed to adding another $10,000 for every $100,000 donated. His call to action has likewise already been picked up by other local folk. Chop Shop, a restaurant/deli in Wiker Park, announced they’d toss in an additional dollar for every sandwich sold that week.
“This is the very beginning,” Chance the Rapper said.