In a classroom at Westcott Elementary School on Chicago's South Side, Chance the Rapper announced on Monday that he will donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools as a "call to action." The 23-year-old Best New Artist GRAMMY winner and Chicago native, born Chancellor Bennett, met with Republican governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner on Friday "to urge him to do his job and to honor his original commitment to provide $215 million to CPS so our kids can finish the year strong." Chance was given "vague answers" and called the conversation "unsuccessful."
Today, prior to announcing his donation and presenting a jumbo $1 million check (memo: For The Kids), Chance—a completely independent artist who has never sold a song—said:
"Gov. Rauner can use his executive power to help get Chicago's children the resources they need to fulfill their God-given right to learn. ... Gov. Rauner still won't commit to give Chicago's kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums."
CPS is the third-largest school district in America.
See the million-dollar moment below, followed by the 20-minute video that was livestreamed to an enormous online audience:
Chance put together an "unprecedented coordination" between LiveNation, AEG, Ticketmaster and independent venues and promoters to funnel ticket sales from his spring tour toward Chicago Public Schools. (He's on the road from April 24 - June 17 in the U.S. and Canada)
Chance's SocialWorks nonprofit will donate $10,000 for every $100,000 donated. He added that he was set to meet with fellow Chicago rhymer Common later on Monday.
Chicago's ABC 7 explains the CPS' current budget woes:
"In early February, the nation's third-largest school district announced a freeze on $46 million in discretionary money. CPS said the move was necessary after the state failed to pass a proposed budget that included $215 million allocated for district spending. The frozen funds were originally earmarked for new textbooks, technology and field trips and non-salary staff. Now the money will go toward a pension payment due at the end of June."
Check out a history of Chance the Rapper's philanthropy here, and watch Fuse's Future Black History Month tribute to him below: