Chance The Rapper Will Donate $1 Million to Chicago Public Schools
Holding a press conference at Westcott Elementary School, a couple blocks from where he was raised, in Chicago today, Chance The Rapper discussed the urgent need to fund Chicago Public Schools and announced he'd be donating $1 million to CPS. You can watch the entire press conference, which was broadcast on Instagram and Periscope, right here.
"I am proud to announce I'm donating $1 million dollars to CPS for arts and original programming," said Chance to a swelling of gasps and applause. "This donation was made possible by my fans," he said, citing ticket sales as the main resource from which he was able to pool the money, and he went on to thank Live Nation, AEG, Ticketmaster and various independent promoters around the country for their "unprecedented coordination" in helping those sales happen.
"I'm also proud to announce that for every $100,000 raised, Social Works [Chance's not-for-profit organization] will donate $10,000 to a specific public high school, including the $1,000,000 I just donated," Chance continued. That means ten different schools will be getting a $10k check, starting with the school Chance was speaking at, Westcott Elementary.
Last week, Chance The Rapper met with Illinois Governor Rauner and was unimpressed with the politician's "vague answers."
"Governer Rauner can use his executive powers to give the Chicago Public Schools the funding they need," said Chance elsewhere during the press conference. "Governor Rauner still won't commit to giving Chicago's kids a chance without caveats.
"Our kids should not be held hostage bceause of political position. If the governor does not act, CPS will be forced to end school 13 days early, which means over 380,000 kids will not have adult supervised acitives in June and could be placed in harm's way," highlighted Chance, an indrect reference to the wild rates of violence in his city. "While I'm frustrated and disappointed in the Governor's inaction, that will not stop me from doing all i can to help Chicago's most valuable resource, Chicago's kids.
Chance spoke about his experiences as a public school kid and an after-school teacher, and said he knows how the arts can make an important impact on children.
"This check that I donated is a call to action. I'm challenging major companies in Chicago across the U.S. to donate and take action," he said."
"Illinois ranks dead last in the U.S. in funding public education. With the stroke of a pen, the Governor has the power to change that," said the Grammy-winning MC. This isn't about politics, this isn't about posturing, this is about taking care of the kids. "Governer Rauner, do your job."
Chance explained he's in talks with corporations who are willing to bring light to the situation and bring change to Chicago. "I actually got a text from Common this morning, and me and him have a phone call later today."
"This is what's right," Chance said when asked about his motivation behind the donation. "The Grammys were what I needed, or what I traded in, to have my first meeting with Governor Rauner. I think everybody knows it's what's right, to get behind these kids."
"I thank every person in Chicago for building me into the person I am. I'm a public school kid, so I thank CPS. I know we're in our troubles right now, but we're about to get past this. I just ask at every turn, at every level, that every one has a voice and a hand in this. That goes out to the highest level people, the organizers, the parents, the teachers. Thank you for raising me up and supporting me. I'm gonna need a little more help to get this done."