There is a lot of ugliness in the world today, and very little focus on the good that exists. Let’s change that! Every week, we’ll shine a spotlight on one celebrity who gives back to the community, and tries to use their status and money to make a difference in the world. These celebrities definitely inspire us at HerWar Media; we hope they can inspire you, as well.
Chance The Rapper
“Depending on the story that you’re telling, you can be relatable to everybody or nobody. I try and tell everybody’s story.” -Chance The Rapper
Chance The Rapper, born April 16th, 1993, and named Chancelor Johnathon Bennett, was raised in Chicago’s South Side, and knew from a very young age that he was special; he knew he was going to be a rapper. But he also wanted to be different, and his first two albums, aka mix tapes, were published and streamed online, for free, which is how he was “discovered.” After achieving celebrity status, Chance The Rapper wanted to make an impact in his community, by giving back, and has done so in some extraordinary ways.
SocialWorks, Chance The Rapper’s charity, was created to help students in Chicago have access to programs in the arts, and help them develop leadership abilities. From the website:
- SocialWorks aims to empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement while fostering leadership, accessibility, and positivity within the youth throughout Chicago. Our framework for interactive spaces and experiences aims to nurture local talent and open new doors, much like what its co-founder Chance The Rapper has done in the music industry.
- Chance collaborated with The Empowerment Plan to help create EMPWR coats for Chicago’s homeless population. These coats are self-heating, water-resistant, and can be converted into a backpack-style to be worn over-the-shoulder.
- This project raised over $100,000, and was able to create over 1,000 of the EMPWR coats for the homeless.
- In a charity performance to help bring more children in Chicago to the arts, Chance teamed up with Alec Baldwin, both of them rapping in a video that was posted to Instagram, and later performed onstage.
- Chance is working with Liz Dozier, former high school principal, and managing director of Chicago Beyond on a video for charity, where the winners could be awarded up to $2 million.
- “This year’s challenge is a grant program that solicits 90-second video submissions from nonprofits working with the city’s youth.”
- Chance and the Chicago Public Library have organized almost 20 free open mic nights for Chicago teens, having, at times, drawn other artists such as Vic Mensa and Kanye West.
- $1 million to Chicago Public Schools
- $2.2 million to Chicago Public Schools
- “Chance The Birthday”
- For his 24th birthday, Chance performed, raising $100,000, all of which he directly donated to SocialWorks.
Events For/With Children
- Open mic nights at the Chicago Public Library (listed above)
- Teens In The Park, a free music festival
- Gave 30,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to children, at the Bud Billiken parade
- On two separate occasions, Chance got a movement trending, causing a brief cessation of gun violence in Chicago
- Communicating in multiple public forums, including radio and print interviews, about political and legal rights, civic duty, etcetera.
- After a concert, Chance personally walked thousands of Chicago citizens to the polls to vote in the 2016 presidential election.
- He created a one-hour video lecture for the University of Chicago Institute of Politics: The Art of Activism with Chance The Rapper
- Chance was honored with the BET Humanitarian Award in 2017.
**This list is by no means exhaustive.**