Chance the Rapper has some major news. The rapper and his new production company, Social Function Productions have reportedly signed on to produce a concert in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. The concert will reportedly include performances by the legendary Smokey Robinson, Jason Mraz, O.A.R., and more.
Chano announced the news on social media on Thursday (June 14). “I’m happy to announce that my new production company SFP and I are producing the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics here in Chicago,” he wrote, along with an official concert poster.
Chance reportedly announced the launch of his Social Functions Productions company only a few days before the concert news was revealed. It’s unclear of what other projects the company has in the works, but it will likely fuse Chance’s interests in music and philanthropy.
The Special Olympics will officially be held in Seattle on July 1, but the concert will kick off in Chance’s hometown of Chicago on July 21. You can purchase tickets to the concert here.
According to billboard.com, DoSomething.org’s annual Celebs Gone Good list for 2017 is topped by Chicago artist and philanthropist Chance The Rapper. Chano is s followed by Arianna Grande, Rihanna, and Colin Kaepernick. Nicki Minaj and Ava DuVernay also appear, making their debuts on the list. The list recognizes celebrities who used their impact to affect social change in the world, as they helped raise awareness for causes such as mental health, education, gun violence, LGBTQ, sexual assault, hurricane/disaster relief and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
The organization also selected eight Celebs to Watch in 2018, featuring young talent who give back. Teen actress Skai Jackson and Beyonce’s protégé Chloe X Halle made the cut, by inspiring young women and speaking out about women’s rights and bullying. Halima Aden also made the list for promoting diversity in the fashion industry, becoming the first hijab-wearing fashion model.
The ride-share service Lyft announced Tuesday that passengers can now round up their fare to the next dollar and donate the difference to Chance the Rapper’s fund to support Chicago Public Schools. The New Chance Arts and Literature Fund, devoted to creating and expanding Chicago arts education programs, is the first local organization Lyft is supporting through the “round up and donate” feature.
Lyft will automatically round up each fare for passengers who opt in via the “settings” tab on the Lyft app and choose their charity. The American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity are among the national organizations that have similar partnerships with Lyft, which is headquartered in San Francisco.
Chance the Rapper, born Chancelor Bennett and raised on the South Side of Chicago, announced the creation of the arts and literature fund in March. He said last month that his organization SocialWorksraised $2.2 million to help 20 Chicago public schools. And though his partnership with Lyft is new, the Grammy winner raps about ride-sharing in his song “All Night,” off last year’s “Coloring Book” project: “You should use your phone, call a Uber/ You a goofy if you think I don’t know you need a Lyft.”
To donate directly to the New Chance Arts and Literature Fund, click here.
Chance the Rapper wants to give educators the recognition they rightfully deserve. The Chicago rapper is organizing the inaugural Twilight Awards, set to be held in June 2018. The ceremony, hosted by James Corden, will celebrate “teachers, parents, principals and students that convey leadership,” Chance said in his announcement Friday. The show will be held in his hometown and will feature guest performances.
He announced news of the show at the very end of a summit for his charity SocialWorks, during which he pledged a $2.2 million donation to 20 Chicago public schools. The summit was a Steve Jobs-inspired event where Chance gave an update on the nonprofit’s progress since he launched it a year ago. “Every contribution … brings this city and this nation closer to providing a well-rounded quality education for each and every child,” he said at the event. “Funding quality education for public [school] students is the most important investment a community can make.”
Chance is on a mission to make a positive impact on Chicago. In the past, the rapper has advocated for better opportunities for the city by meeting with the state governor, donated money and supplies to students, donated outerwear to the homeless and led a march to voting polls. The 24-year-old was honored by former First Lady Michelle Obama when he received BET’s Humanitarian Award in June. Hear his full remarks from the SocialWorks summit in the video below:
Single-night tickets are now on sale and are priced starting at $50 per person per night.
The concerts will feature more than 40 acts across five stages in the Superdome throughout the weekend on the festival’s renowned Mainstage and in the intimate Superlounges. Festival first-timers Diana Ross and Chance the Rapper will open and close the weekend concert series with headlining performances on Friday and Sunday night respectively – along with a special all-female Saturday night lineup, inspired by headliner Mary J. Blige’s forthcoming album Strength of A Woman.
Other well-known performers in this year’s line-up include John Legend, india.arie, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan and Solange.
Roy Wood Jr. from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” will serve as the Mainstage host for the weekend, with more surprise guest performances to be announced.
For more information about ticket sales and accommodations and for the latest news about the ESSENCE Festival®, visit www.essencefestival.com, join the festival community by following us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2017 ESSENCE Festival® on Facebook.
Chance the Rapper announced on Monday that he will donate $1 million to the Chicago Public Schools Foundation “for arts and enrichment programming.” The announcement came at a press conference held at Westcott Elementary School in the Grammy-winning rapper’s native South Side neighborhood of West Chatham, during which he presented an oversized check to students flanking him on both sides.
The announcement comes days after the Coloring Book rapper met with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to discuss what he believes is a lack of state funding directed towards the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) systems. “The governor gave me a lot of vague answers in our meeting and since has called me over the weekend,” Chance told a group of reporters and students gathered on Monday. It’s a sentiment he shared minutes after his talk with Rauner on Friday, when he told the Governor, via reporters, to “Do your job!” “Our talks were unsuccessful,” Chance continued. “Gov. Rauner still won’t commit to giving Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.”
Chance’s efforts principally stem from Rauner’s veto of a bill that was set to delegate $215 million in funding to CPS, “an important compromise on behalf of the schools and the students across the state,” Chance noted. As a result, CPS may have to lay off thousands of staff or, as Chance passionately explained, even cut the school year short by 13 days. “This means over 380,000 kids will not have adult-supervised activities in June and could possibly be put in harm’s way,” he explained.
The rapper said his $1 million donation was made possible through ticket sales for his upcoming spring tour and a joint effort between concert promoters (including Live Nation, AEG and Ticketmaster) and local venues and promoters across the country. The rapper did not give specifics on how the money would be raised, but noted that the aforementioned companies “were able to band together to use funds from ticket sales to donate to CPS.”
On top of the rapper’s $1 million, Social Works, a local non-profit organization Chance created last year, will match every $100,000 raised for the CPS with an additional $10,000 to be allocated for specific Chicago public schools. (The charity has set up a website to receive donations for CPS.) In light of the $1 million donation, Chance will give out 10 additional $10,000 donations to select local schools, including Westcott Elementary.
Chance the Rapper and his black-boy joy just doesn’t quit. And this time he’s using his notoriety and fan base to pay tribute to the Obama family with a new clothing line. Chance announced the project Thursday on Twitter with a link to ThankUObama.us.
“With this project i wanted to timestamp a period in my life where i felt like i can do whatever i wanted to do and be whatever i wanted to be,” Chance wrote on his site. “The night Obama won his first term gave me so much hope, especially & most importantly as a black man. I decided to make a collection saying ‘thank you’ and give me something to smile at every now and then when I look in the closet.”
The line includes a T-shirt with Malia Obama’s name, as well as one with a Notorious B.I.G.-esque photo of Barack Obama, as well as a shirt with “Barack N Michelle” written in black-and-pink graffiti with their anniversary date.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Youth & College division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is hosting a gathering of youth activists next month to organize and plan responses to new civil rights threats expected under the new administration and Congress in 2017.
Leaders of the youth wing of the NAACP, along with partners in Justice League New York and the Empowerment Movement will work together at the “People’s Inauguration” rally at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 21 at 9 a.m. Grammy-nominated artist Chance the Rapper is scheduled to appear as a guest speaker.
The rally will re-unite allies and partners who helped register thousands of new and young voters during the 2016 election with the goal to launch a new era of activism and protest against potential threats from the presidency of Donald J. Trump. During the meeting, attendees will begin collaborating to unite together and stand for a progressive policy agenda in the coming months and years.
“We are faced with a moral and ethical crisis during this critical time in our nation’s history after the election of Donald J. Trump,’ said Stephen Green, director of the NAACP Youth & College Division. “This moment calls for young leaders to gather together and develop a strategy to protect the human and civil rights of all Americans through nonviolent resistance.”
#StayWokeAndFight is the name of the new initiative, and it is intended to provide direct actions, protests and other activism to oppose threats to civil rights, education investment, criminal justice reform and other areas of concern posed by the Trump administration that takes office on January 20.
Organizers also plan to host a “People’s Inaugural Ball” on Inauguration night. Registration is open online for individuals and groups to join and attend at www.staywokeandfight.com.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.
Alicia Keys is making sure hip-hop is giving back in a big way. Chance The Rapper and Salt N Pepa will perform at Keys’ 13th annual Black Ball in NYC on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The annual black tie affair is put on by Keys’ charity Keep a Child Alive (KCA). It was announced earlier this month that A$AP Rocky would be performing along with rock star Patti Smith.
Star-studded events, humanitarian and otherwise, are nothing new to Chano or the ladies. The Chicago rapper just wrapped his Magnificent Coloring Day Festivalin his hometown to celebrate the launch of his charity Social Works Inc. The 23-year-old mixtape star brought out big names like Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, 2 Chainz, and Keys to celebrate the day. In fact, Chance has had a long history of helping his city through community efforts.
As for Salt-N-Pepa, the legendary crew has been reppin’ for hip-hop for more than 30 years now. Back in the 1980’s, the Queens duo, along with DJ Spinderella, were among the first rappers to promote safe sex, and were recently honored at VH1’s 2016 Hip Hop Honors.
The 2016 Black Ball will take place at Hammerstein Ballroom on Oct. 19 with a special tribute to legendary music mogul Clive Davis. As always, Alicia Keys will serve as the night’s host. Check out details about how to donate to KCA and attend the Ball here.
Need a source of holiday inspiration? Try Chance the Rapper.
According to Mic.com, the Chicago rhymesayer is making it his business to bring at least 1,000 coats to his city’s homeless population via a recent partnership with the Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that employs homeless people from local Detroit shelters to create long, self-insulating coats that transform into sleeping bags and totes.
The project, known as Warmest Winter, launched Wednesday (Dec. 21) with the goal of bringing the coats to Chicago by asking folks to sponsor a coat with a $100 donation for the manufacturing of the coat. Broken down, the money will help cover the labor, materials and overhead expenses involved in creating the coat.
To date, the Warmest Weather project has raised more than $43,000, which has funded the manufacturing of 430 EMPWR coats. The coats are noted for being water resistant and self-heating, in light of them being constructed with upcycled automotive insulation and durable work fabric from Carhartt. When they are not being worn, the coats can be carried as an over-the-shoulder bag.
Founded by Veronika Scott, a social entrepreneur, the Empowerment Plan started distributing the EMPWR coats in Detroit in 2011 with 10 formerly homeless women the organization initially employed, according to The Huffington Post. Since its creation, the Empowerment Plan now employs 20 formerly homeless individuals, who have created more than 9,000 coats.
The organization’s partnership with Chance the Rapper allows for its coats to come to Chicago with an ultimate goal of opening an Empowerment Plan factory in the city and offering homeless Chicago residents a chance to earn a living wage.
For his part, Chance the Rapper is using the power of social media to actively promote the Warmest Winter initiative. Since last week, the rhymesayer has been busy encouraging his more than 1.2 million Twitter followers and 900,000 Instagram fans to donate to the cause with offering donors such things as
tickets to one of his concerts, a Chicago White Sox game and a Chicago Bulls game.
Within hours of Chance the Rapper’s first tweet about Warmest Winter, $7,500 — or 75 coats — had been raised, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The support comes at a troubling time in Chicago, which is experiencing a harsh winter. Mic.com references findings from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, which reveal that an estimated 125,838 Chicagoans were homeless during the 2014-2015 school year. The National Coalition for the Homeless found that out of the homeless population in America, about 700 people die of hypothermia every year.
Estimates by Warmest Winter state that for each 1,000 coats funded, it can save 14 lives. The initiative is set to run until Jan. 13.
For more information and to donate to Warmest Winter, click here. To see one of Chance the Rapper’s tweets about Warmest Winter, scroll below: