Chancellor Bennett, better known by his stage name, Chance the Rapper, has been making headlines all over Chicago recently. The recent three-time Grammy Award winner has been trying to make a change to the lack of funding seen in Chicago Public Schools. Born and raised in Chicago, Chance wanted to fight to give his community the education they deserve.
Earlier this week, he arrived at Westcott Elementary School with a huge announcement. He gave a speech to the students and faculty members and ended with a donation of one million dollars towards Chicago Public Schools in efforts to lesson the budget shortage. He strongly stated, “[The donation] is a call to action. I’m challenging major companies and corporations in Chicago and across the U.S. to donate and take action.”
This huge donation was followed by his meeting last week with Illinois governor, Bruce Rauner. The meeting was held to discuss the current state of CPS and what steps are to be taken to help create funding for the schools. Chance left the meeting disappointed, as he felt like the conversation was unsuccessful. After leaving, he told media that themselves, the governor, and people of Chicago need to “do your job.”
As an independent artist with a streaming-only album, Chance’s donation was raised through ticket sales from upcoming tours and funding by AEG Live, LiveNation, and other independent promoters and venues. This Thursday, Chance released the nine other schools (in addition to Westcott Elementary School) that will receive $10,000 from SocialWorks: Nathan S. Davis Elementary School, Mahalia Jackson Elementary School, Charles Carroll Elementary School, Roberto Clemente Community Academy, Paul Robeson High School, Orr Academy High School, Hirsch Metropolitan High School, Benito Juarez Community Academy, and Fenger Academy High School.
SocialWorks is a non-profit organization co-founded by the rapper, which helps empower the youth of Chicago through the arts, education, and civic engagement. The site, www.socialworkschi.org, and organization is also founded by Essence Smith and Justin Cunningham and is supported by donations. Donations can be set up for a one-time or month-to-month collection. Those who have already contributed to Chance’s CPS movement are as follows: Michael Bennett, Hannibal Buress, Scooter Braun. Michelle Obama, a product of CPS, they offered praise and gratitude towards Chance’s stance in this issue and towards the donation.
This is only the beginning of Chance’s CPS movement, as he is still encouraging donations to SocialWorks. The organization stated that for every $100,000 that they receive, they will donate $10,000 to a school of their choosing (which is how the schools listed above received their donation). Let’s keep moving forward, Chicago.