Google is remaining committed to their efforts to increase STEM opportunities for people of color and the group on the receiving end of their latest investment aligned with the cause is Chance The Rapper’s youth empowerment charity organization, SocialWorks.
The tech giant announced Wednesday that the SocialWorks nonprofit will receive a $1 million grant from the company, as well as an additional $500,000 that will go directly towards Chicago Public Schools. The grant will also help teachers implement computer science and arts curriculum in their classrooms. Google.org principal Justin Steele says the company is proud to help further Chance’s mission to foster the endless amount of creative potential present among young people in underserved communities.
“We’re honored to support SocialWorks’ mission to help underrepresented students in Chicago reach their full potential, as well as Chicago Public Schools’ efforts to turn computer science into a pathway for creative expression,” Steele said in a statement. “There’s so much talent and creativity in the communities that these schools serve — and Chance The Rapper embodies what can happen when that creativity is unleashed. With exposure to computer science, students can use technology to turn their creative passions — whether that’s art, writing, music or something else — into something bigger.”
The news comes just days after Chance made headlines for teaming up with the Jordan brand to gift 300 pairs of unreleased sneakers to teens who attended the latest SocialWorks OpenMike night, which aims to provide a platform and fellowship space for aspiring young creatives to connect with each other and hear from notable public figures. SocailWorks Executive Director Justin Cunningham spoke highly of Google’s efforts to empower students through technology.
“While every student doesn’t need to become a computer scientist, understanding the basics empowers them to understand the world they live in,” Cunningham said. “The opportunity to help kids code to share their music, artwork, and distinct point of view is at the core of our mission and an experience we look forward to providing in classrooms across the city.”
The grant is the latest in ongoing youth outreach efforts for both Google and Chance. Earlier in 2017, Chance raised a whopping $2.2 million for Chicago Public Schools and gifted 20 schools with $100,000 each through his recently established New Chance Arts and Literature Fund. He also allowed for voter registration at his Chicago Music Festival in October 2016 and later led hundreds of fans to the polls after one of his concerts the following month.
Meanwhile, Google’s most recent efforts have included donating $1 million to the Hidden Genius youth tech non-profit in November and opening the doors of its’ NYC headquarters to provide Black Girls Code with a $2.8 million office space in June 2016.