Chance The Rapper is putting his money where his mouth is and challenging others to follow suit.
Keeping his promise to take action against the severe lack of government funding allocated for Chicago Public Schools, the 2017 ESSENCE Festival performer held a brief press conference on Monday afternoon at Wescott Elementary school in Northbrook, IL, to speak on the topic. The press conference was a follow up to Chance's less-than-satisfactory meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on Friday, during which he spoke with the Governor about his recent decision to overturn a ruling that reportedly would have resulted in increased funding for CPS, including a $250 million increase in funding for teachers.
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Chance spoke briefly with reporters immediately following the end of Friday's meeting, expressing his disappointment with Governor Rauner's "vague" responses to his questions and urging the media to shine a spotlight on the troubling funding issue.
Taking to a podium in a Wescott Elemtary School classroom this afternoon, Chance offered a short summary of his meeting with the Governor, but vowed not to let his frustration with the lack of urgency to fix the issue overshadow his promise to take further action.
"Governor Rauner can use his executive power to give Chicago’s children the resources they need to fulfill their God-Given right to learn," Chance said. Later adding, "While I’m frustrated and disappointed in the Governor’s inaction, that will not stop me from continuing to do all I can to support Chicago’s most valuable resource."
Then, in an unexpected grand gesture, the Chicago native announced that he'd be donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools through his non-profit organization Social Works, launched in September 2016.
"This check is a call to action," he said just before presenting the school's administration with the life-sized check. "I’m challenging major companies in Chicago and across the U.S. to donate and to take action. The students have spoken and would like corporations to invest in them as we have invested in their businesses."
He also rolled out brief details of a larger plan, which will see the organization match additional donations received.
"For every $100,000 raised, Social Works will donate $10,000 to a Chicago public high school or elementary school, starting with Wescott Elementary."
The father of one closed out the press conference by encouraging the community and the general public to join him in the fight to bring about change in Chicago Public Schools.
"This isn’t about politics, this isn’t about posturing; this is about taking care of the kids. We’re about to enhance the conversations."
"As a parent and product of CPS, I’m asking that you guys join and fight with me. Mobilize with me, for the interest of the children of Chicago. This is just the beginning."