Chance the Rapper announced Friday that his SocialWorks organization has raised $2.2 million for the Chicago Public Schools’ arts programs.
“Quality education for public schools is the most important investment a community can make,” the rapper said at Chicago’s Harold Washington Cultural Center, four days before the school year begins in the city.
“So today, all of us at SocialWorks are excited to take our biggest, boldest step yet and announce our first-ever grants from the New Chance Fund. Today we’re giving a new chance to kids in 20 more schools across our city.”
The donations will be spread be 20 schools in the Chicago public school system, with each school receiving $100,000 over the course of three years.
Chance also announced the inaugural Twilight Awards, which will take place in Chicago in June 2018. The event, hosted by James Corden and featuring special guest performances, will celebrate “teachers, parents, principals, and students that convey leadership.”
For the announcement, the rapper wore a black turtleneck tucked into his faded jeans, a nod to late Apple CEO Steve Jobs he noted. Chance the Rapper opened his presentation by discussing two things that have weighed upon him since his return to Chicago after his latest tour.
“Twice, just in the last month that I’ve been back, I’ve had someone tell me that they were going to shoot me,” Chance said. “This is obviously just talk; both were small altercations and I could tell immediately upon point of contact that these young people had a chip on their shoulder. That they felt undervalued or cheated. And that’s the way Chicago is.”
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At the same time, the rapper has seen how much his young daughter has grown and has begun weighing early education programs for her. “These are the two most pressing things on my mind: The thought of finally sending my daughter to school, and the unease of the city she’s entering into.”
Following an initial $1 million donation in March, SocialWorks will provide another $1.2 million in addition to Chance the Rapper’s other charitable efforts, including providing 30,000 Chicago schoolchildren with backpacks stuffed with school supplies.