Chance the philanthropist! Chance the Rapper announced on Monday, March 6, that he’s donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools for "arts and enrichment programming." The 23-year-old musician made the announcement at a press conference at Westcott Elementary School in Chance’s native West Chatham neighborhood.
The “No Problem” rapper (real name Chancelor Bennett) presented a giant check to a group of happy young students just days after he met with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on Friday to discuss funding for CPS. The Grammy winner hoped to convince Rauner to take action in order to get CPS the $215 million it needs to finish the school year after the politician vetoed a proposed bill.
“Gov. Rauner can use his executive power to give Chicago’s children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn,” the dad of 17-month-old daughter, Kensli, with his girlfriend, Kirsten Corley, said. “The governor gave me a lot of vague answers in our meeting and since has called me over the weekend. Our talks were unsuccessful. Gov. Rauner still won’t commit to give Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.” On the other hand, Rauner called the meeting “a good exchange of views’ and believed that the duo could work together to “get big things done,” according to The Chicago Tribune.
Without the money, the school system will have to lay off thousands of staffers or cut the school year short by 13 days, Chance said. “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.
Chance's $1 million donation will come from ticket sales for his upcoming spring tour in coordination with Live Nation, AEG, Ticketmaster and independent promoters and venues across the country. In addition, the rapper’s non-profit organization, Social Works, will match every $100,000 raised for Chicago schools with an additional $10,000 to be used for specific schools.
“This isn’t about politics, this isn’t about posturing. This is about taking care of the kids. Everybody and their momma knows about what’s going on in Chicago. It’s constantly talked about, but we’re about to enhance the conversation,” he continued. "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.”
Chance received lots of praise on social media for his charitable contribution. Former first lady and Chicago native Michelle Obama tweeted, “Thanks @chancetherapper for giving back to the Chicago community, which gave us so much. You are an example of the power of arts education."
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