Chancelor Bennett, also known as Chance the Rapper recently announced in a news conference that he was donating $1 million to the Chicago Public School System. The Chicago Public School system which is largely underfunded has been facing challenges for a long time.
Chance the Rapper is acting as a role model to children in Chicago showing them the heights they can go to achieve success. Emily Bittner, the school district spokesperson said that they appreciated the advocacy Chance was doing with his organization SocialWorks to fight the discrimination that was rampant in the public school system.
Chance donated the $1 million to the CPS and the money was to be used to support the arts and the enrichment programming. A three time Grammy winner, Chance had met earlier with the Republican governor to discuss the education issues facing the state of Illinois. The rapper said that the governor had given him many vague answers and there was nothing serious he was doing. There talks are yet to yield any results.
In February 2017, Rauner vetoed a $215 million funding bill which many schools in Chicago relied on. School officials later announced that they would suspend $46 million in spending. The Chicago public school funding systems is racially biased and tends to discriminate on poor people.
According to Forrest Claypool, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Governor Rauner didn’t create this discriminatory system but his actions have shown that he supports it. This system violates the civil rights of thousands of schoolchildren in Chicago and threatens their future.
A week after vetoing the bill, five families and the Chicago Board of Education brought a lawsuit against the state of Illinois claiming that the state was funding schools based on race which was discriminatory.
Even with Chance’s donation and other private donors, the money can’t be enough and the state has to intervene. Chance while offering his donation asked companies and corporates around the country to consider the case of Chicago Public System and make a donation. He termed it as a call to action.
SocialWorks an organization he co-founded pledged that it would donate $10,000 for every $100,000 that was raised. He promised that he will continue making contributions to the cause.
During this year’s BET, Chance received a humanitarian award for his work in helping children in Chicago get funding and encouraging them through art and music. He also received the BET New Artist Award. It was his first time winning the BET award.
Chance has received previous recognition. In November 2014, he was presented with Chicago’s Outstanding Youth by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel for the efforts he was making to combat gun violence that has plagued Chicago for many years. He started the campaign in 2014 with his father and promoted it as #SaveChicago.
In April 2016, Chance met with President Obama in the White House and they discussed the challenges that young black men faced and initiatives they would introduce including My Brother’s Keeper Challenge.