Chance The Rapper Launches SocialWorks Nonprofit Program For Chicago Youth
Chancelor “Chance The Rapper” Bennett, Justin Cunningham, Essence Smith and Kenneth Bennett unveiled the launch of a new nonprofit, SocialWorks, this weekend. The program was designed to help curb the inner-city violence plaguing Chicago’s youth and Chance The Rapper is definitely trying to help his cit’d youth achieve greatness.
SocialWorks aims to empower youth through the arts, education and civic engagement while fostering leadership, professionalism, and connectivity within the youth throughout Chicago. The groundwork of SocialWorks began in early 2015 with the introduction of OpenMike, which later became a partnership with the Chicago Public Library.
OpenMike creates a safe space for high school students to express, learn, and network with like minded individuals. Over the past 18 months SocialWorks has hosted 16 OpenMikes, housing 350 students monthly while welcoming guests such as Kanye West, Hannibal Buress, Renee Flemings, and The Happiness Club. This gives students the unique opportunity to engage and interact with some of their favorite artists while exploring their creative processes to find inspiration they can later us in their own work.
SocialWorks also joined forces with the Chicago Park District during the summer of 2015 to chaperone and introduce local campers to a wide variety of public spaces all over Chicago, some for their first time. This union helped bring forth SocialWorks’ current relationship with Covenant Faith Church of God’s Kids of the Kingdom.
This 6-Week program gave 50 elementary school students the opportunity to learn through music and showcase that knowledge at the end of the summer. SocialWorks intends to continue their efforts by further engaging the youth with their education and city through music.
In December of 2015, socialWorks partnered with the Detroit based The Empowerment Plan to create a citywide fundraiser called The Warmest Winter. This initiative was a call to action which yielded $117,517, equaling 1,175 coats that were distributed to homeless individuals and shelters across Chicago.
By creating accessible interactive spaces and experiences, SocialWorks hopes to nurture local talent and open new doors much like what its cofounder Chance The Rapper has done in the music industry.
Chance has pioneered a new approach to the music business. By utilizing grassroots marketing and streaming his music for free, he has become the first artist to chart top 10 within the Billboard 200. Together, SocialWorks and friends hope to move forward with the same spirit of innovation, bring the city and its youth together.
Salute to Chance the Rapper for impacting his community in a major way.