On Monday, Grammy award-winning artist Chance The Rapper (Chancellor Bennett) put his money where is mouth is. In a press conference today at Westcott Elementary School on the South Side of Chicago, the 23-year-old announced that he will donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
“I’m committed to help Chicago’s children have quality learning experiences that include the arts,” Chance said, according to People. “As an artist and after-school teacher, I know the arts are invaluable. They teach kids lessons about how small efforts can have big effects and how collaboration can lead to creativity. This check is a call to action. I’m challenging major companies in Chicago and across the U.S. to donate and take action.”
The decision comes a week after what Chance described as a "vague" and “unsuccessful” meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Currently, CPS has a $215 million funding gap.
"Gov. Rauner can use his executive power to help get Chicago's children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn," Chance said in an earlier statement, according to the Chicago Tribune. "Gov. Rauner still won't commit to give Chicago's kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums. Gov. Rauner, do your job," he added.
In a climate of increasing clicktivism and questionable photo opportunities, seeing a celebrity not only donate to a cause but become fearlessly vocal sends a powerful message to fans.
"Gov. Rauner broke his promise to Chicago children a few months ago as a result of an admitted emotional reaction," Chance said. "Our kids should not be held hostage because of political positioning."
"This isn't about politics, this isn't about posturing," he added. "This is about taking care of the kids. Everybody and their momma knows about what's going on in Chicago, it's constantly talked about. But we're about to enhance the conversation."