CHICAGO, IL – Chance The Rapper announced March 9th that nine Chicago Public Schools will be receiving $10,000 checks and Christian Fenger Academy High School was amongst the nine receiving schools. Fenger HS is the high school of HBCU Campaign Fund’s President Demetrius Johnson Jr.
The 23-year-old rapper, whose real name is Chancellor Bennett, announced he is donating $1 million of his personal money to CPS earlier last week. Chance also called upon private businesses and corporations to donate money to the school system. For every $100,000 in donations, Chance said his organization Social Works Chicago will donate an additional $10, 000 to individual schools to further support arts education.
In May 2013, the school board voted to close 50 public schools. However, the majority of the closed schools have been in poor neighborhoods with a black population. For every four schools that have been closed, three have been in these neighborhoods. Over 88% of the students affected by these closings have been African American
“The check that I donated is a call to action. I’m challenging major companies and corporations in Chicago and across the U.S. to donate and take action,” Chance said.
The first check went to Westcott Elementary School, where Chance made his donation announcement. On Thursday (March 9) Chance released the list of the other nine schools on Twitter:
- Nathan S. Davis Elementary School
- Mahalia Jackson Elementary School
- Charles Carroll Elementary School
- Roberto Clemente Community Academy
- Paul Robeson High School
- Orr Academy High School
- Hirsch Metropolitan High School
- Benito Juarez Community Academy
- Fenger Academy High School
“First, I would like to congratulate Mr. Bennett on his Grammy wins, one of my all-time favorite music award shows. And second, I would like to extend my deepest sincere appreciation to Chance for just not donating to Chicago Public Schools but for contributing his love and support to the youth and communities throughout Chicago. I am exceedingly appreciative of the support of my high school because Fenger HS has been through a lot and has came up a long way from its past to becoming a part of CPS Turnaround process, CPS has done well with the Turnaround of Fenger after my exit. I experience the first year of Turnaround before I graduated which was Ms. Elizabeth Dozier first year as Principal. As the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) organization develops, I am thrill to strategize for our organization to join Chance in the future in donating to Chicago Public Schools as well as partnering with them and HBCU’s in getting the youth into college before the exist out of secondary education. Education is the key to success for our future millennial and it’s very vital to keep educating because it’s a part of growth as well as a healthy individual life in today’s society and within our communities. The more we can acquire private sector, communities as well as individual support from our communities the more it will discomfort our government official as to what they’re doing in assisting to keep our communities going such as the funding of state and city school systems. And I stand to say that the family of Chance should not be a factor as an excuse to this much contribution to bettering futures.” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., president and founder of HBCU Campaign Fund.
Bennett is a product of Chicago Public Schools himself in which he attended Jones College Prep High School, he returned to his hometown following his three-Grammy win to try to use the weight of his fame, as well as the funding from it, to help the cash-strapped public school system.