The Grammy Award winning music phenomenon, Chance the Rapper, announced during a press conference held Monday that as a “call to action” for the Chicago education crisis, he is donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools.
“This isn’t about politics. This isn’t about posturing,” Chance told reporters at the press conference. “This is about taking care of the kids.”
The school system faces a $215 million budget shortfall, according to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times.
The musician met with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner last Friday to discuss solutions for the school’s extreme financial crisis. Chance described the meeting as “vague,” and called for the governor to “do his job” after the meeting.
Chance said if the governor does not take action, “CPS will be forced to end school 13 days early, which means over 380,000 kids will not have adult supervised activities in June.”
After an unsuccessful meeting with the governor, Chance took matters into his own hands, without the state of Chicago’s assistance.
“Our kids should not be held hostage because of political position,” Chance said at the press conference.
In the past year, the question of the roles of celebrities in greater society has been a highly controversial topic in the U.S. Are celebrities in the rightful place to discuss issues that affect working or middle-class citizens? Should celebrities have roles in our government?
Chance’s latest donation Chicago students brings the role of celebrities into question once again. His $1 million donation, derived from concert revenues, displays the positive results that can come from celebrity involvement in issues like education.
Entertainment stars have vocalized their political stances prior to and following the election of President Donald Trump. More often than not, neither tangible donations or mobile action is taken behind the issues some celebrities speak on.
Chance put his money where his mouth is, and it’s particularly refreshing.
The public can only hope that Chance’s $1 million donation can inspire more celebrities to take action toward social and political issues beyond the microphone or podium — to use their platform and plentiful bank accounts.
Screenshot courtesy of Instagram