Political Education

Chance The Humanitarian

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While others are using their wealth to visit outer space, view the wreckage of the Titanic, or buy their own social media company, Chance The Rapper is staying home. Chancelor Jonathan Bennett, better known as Chance The Rapper, is more than a hip-hop artist and music producer. Chance is a social activist from Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood who gives back to his community.

“I don’t really see myself ever needing a house in Paris or some freaky shit like that. I just want to get old in Chicago and be with my homies and make dope music and randomly come to Harvard and give a lecture. I thought you guys were troubled kids and shit and I was coming to talk to you about getting your lives together!”

In 2015, Chance joined ‘The Empowerment Plan,’ a workplace development organization, to create Warmest Winter 2016, which manufactures self-heating, waterproof jackets for the homeless. The jackets can be converted into insulated sleeping bags. In 2016, he helped raise $100,000 for technology improvements in six elementary schools in Chicago. Chance founded ‘SocialWorks’, which focuses on helping education, mental health, homelessness, and performing and literary arts. He has organized free events for Chicago area children, such as the Teens in the Park Festival. In 2017, Chance donated one million dollars to the Chicago Public School Foundation. To encourage private businesses and corporations to donate money to schools in the Chicago system, for every $100,000 donation, Chance will donate an additional $10,000 to support arts education.

“We will be upping the game in terms of equity, in terms of what is rightfully yours. Principals, teachers, we got your back.”

The Chicago Bulls basketball team donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools after Chance asked corporate donors to match his million-dollar contribution. The Jewel-Osco grocery and drug store chain donated $1 million to ‘Social Works’. Chance helped raise $2.2 million through his non-profit ‘Social Works’ which was distributed to 20 neighborhood schools. Each school received $100,000. Chance drove as an undercover Lyft driver to help raise money for ‘Social Works’. Now Lyft Riders can round up their fare to the nearest dollar. The extra amount goes to Chance’s ‘Social Works’ arts and literature fund.

“Both of my parents graduated from high school, both attended college, both have government jobs now. They’ve always been very adamant about me finishing high school and finishing college.” – Chance The Rapper

In 2018, Chicago-based Goose Island Beer Company donated $300,000 to ‘Social Works’. Chance helped to open the Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, Illinois, north of Chicago. The lodge donated $75,000 to Social Works. In 2019, the Postmates delivery service partnered with Chance to donate amounts up to $10,000 to SocialWorks for every order placed through the Postmates app. Chance helped save the National Teachers Academy, located on Chicago’s south side, from closing. The NTA serves a school population that is 80% African American. 76% of the NTA’s students live below the poverty line. While serving as Grand Marshal of Chicago’s annual Bud Billiken Parade, Chance gave out 30,000 backpacks that included free tickets to one of his concerts. During the COVID crisis, ‘Social Works’ donated 45,000 masks to the Chicago Park District. Chance pledged $1 million to the ‘My State of Mind’ mental health organization, which offers $100,000 grants to service providers.

“Mental health and mental wellness are extremely important to me and everybody because we all know people that are affected by it,” Chance said Friday on “Good Morning America.” “We all can be affected by it.”

In a world dominated by wealthy dilettantes funding vanity projects, look for humanitarians like Chance. Chance the Rapper is making the world a better place.

For more on the music of Chance The Rapper, visit:

For more on the Social Works initiative visit:

For more on The Empowerment Plan visit:

For more on My State of Mind visit:


Thanks and a tip of the hat to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chance_the_Rapper#/media/File:Chance_the_Rapper_2018_February.png for the image.

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