Chance the Rapper may have just won three Grammys, but that doesn't mean it's time to kick back and relax. There's work to be done, but for the Chicago native, the next project has nothing to do with releasing another mixtape.
In a press conference Monday afternoon, Chance explained that his nonprofit organization, Social Works, would be spearheading an effort to raise $215 million for Chicago Public Schools while the city wrestles with education budget reform. And with an initial $1 million donation, he made it clear that he will continue pressuring Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to allocate more funding for public schools.
"As you guys know, [on] Friday I met with Governor Bruce Rauner to urge him to do his job and to honor his original commitment to provide $215 million to [Chicago Public Schools] so our kids can finish the school year strong," he said, explaining that his "unsuccessful" conversations with Rauner have been filled with vague answers.
According to The Chicago Tribune, Governor Rauner's recent veto of a bill that would give $215 million to Chicago schools was unexpected and puts the cities education system in a "horrible position" that will layoff staff and shorten the school year by 13 days. Schools in Illinois already receive the most unfair funding in the nation. The governor released two plans just hours before Chance's press conference, which you can learn more about here.
Chance's donation of $1 million for arts education comes from funds of ticket sales from his upcoming tour. While he discussed working with other Chicago natives like Common, Chance is also relying on the help of private citizens. For every $100,000 received in donations, the organization will donate $10,000 to a school of their choosing. Social Works is also calling on brands like Chipotle and Adidas to invest in the public schools.
"While I'm frustrated and disappointed by the Governor's inaction, that will not stop me from continuing to do all I can to support Chicago's most valuable resources—it's children," he explained.
UPDATE: March 6, 2017, 6:18 p.m. EST: Chicago native and former first lady Michelle Obama chimed in on Chance's commitment to schools late Monday.
Thanks @chancetherapper for giving back to the Chicago community, which gave us so much. You are an example of the power of arts education.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) March 6, 2017