Talk about giving back. On Monday, Chicago native Chance the Rapper announced that he will be donating $1 million to arts programs at Chicago Public Schools (CPS), which shows that he is fully invested in helping to facilitate change.
This announcement came after videos of Chance leaving a meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner dissatisfied surfaced. Chance responded to the incident, and told Rauner and other government officials to “do your job” in their efforts of helping CPS. Now, Chance is taking matters into his own hands to stimulate the change that Chicagoans have been waiting to see.
Why is Chance so invested in this issue? He explained that children are the future. He said, “as a private citizen, as a parent, and as a product of CPS, I’m asking that you guys join the fight with me, organize with me, mobilize with me, for the interest of the children of Chicago.”
Chance’s announcement caught national attention, it even drew a response from former First Lady Michelle Obama whom 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.” Isn’t Michelle Obama’s approval everything all of us have ever wanted?!
You would think that for someone as famous as Chance the Rapper, $1 million would be pocket change, but let’s think about that for a second. What has made Chance so incredible in the past, beyond just obvious talent, is the fact that he refused to sign with a record label only to stream his albums completely free online. When you google Chance’s net worth, you’ll find an estimate of $1 million, a number paling in comparison to other big stars like Kanye West, who’s estimated to be worth $145 million. Chance made a big investment here.
But this $1 million isn’t the end of it. Chance the Rapper’s decision will surely influence others to do the same. After all, famous Chicago natives include even bigger names like Kanye West, Common, R. Kelly, Jennifer Hudson, and Dwayne Wade. Chance said he is planning on speaking with Common about future funding, which will get another famous name on board for the cause. Furthermore, anyone can support CPS by going to chanceraps.com, which now immediately prompts you to donate. CPS still has “a budget deficit of $129 million,” according to an article by Huffington Post; but with Chance’s platform and the help of the community and other major celebrities, we will hopefully see this deficit drop.
Even beyond the greatness of this donation, Chance the Rapper is setting a precedent for other high-profile celebrities to not only remember where they came from and give back to their communities, but also to stay humble. He’s never been quiet about his love for Chicago; and he has continued to show the world just how important it is to care about what you love, and to do what you can with your platform to help children create better lives for themselves. This is only the beginning, and I believe all of us can take a note from Chance and take action to be a part of the change we want to see.
From now on, just call him Chance the Philanthropist.