Yesterday (Oct 5th), during the second annual SocialWorks summit — a nonprofit he founded — Coloring Book artist, Chance The Rapper, announced that he is donating $1 million to mental health services in Chicago.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) October 4, 2018
Chance’s donation marks yet another watershed moment in the fight for normalizing mental health in our society. Historically, communities of color experience unique and considerable challenges in accessing mental health service.
Out of the 13.2% of U.S population that identifies as African-American over 17 had a diagnosable mental illness according to a 2014 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
In Chicago, which also happens to be the second most segregated city in America, more than 50% of all African-Americans live in neighborhoods in which at least 4 in 5 residents are also black.
While 7.2% of white residents in Chicago live in poverty, that pails in comparison to the 29.0% of black residents do. The black poverty rate is more than four times the white rate and is the second largest poverty disparity between blacks and whites of any metro area. Yet, whenever Chicago and it’s crime rate is brought up, these facts are the last to come up.
Chance recognizes the value in pouring into the mental health of the disenfranchised and has taken the leadership role in making a change.
The donation will cover six different mental wellness providers who will each receive $100,000. In addition, Chance also introduced the initiative, My State of Mind, via SocialWorks aimed at focusing on improving mental health resources in Cook County, Illinois.
View this post on Instagram
Yesterday we had the pleasure of stopping by our very own New Chance Fund (NCF) School, Plamondon Elementary. With the NCF grant, Plamondon’s incredible Principal, Principal Hammond, was able to build a brand new, state of the art science lab for her students titled “Chance the Rapper’s Innovation Lab.” How cool is this?! • Swipe left to see recap photos from yesterday’s ribbon cutting at the grand opening of the new science lab! We’re so thrilled to see the change that the NCF grant is causing in our @chipubschools and the direct positive impact these changes have on the students lives. • To make your contribution head to the donate page on our website and #supportCPS #NCFFridays #socialworks
An example of how this is going to look is the guidebooks they’ve developed. Expected to be made available physically and digitally, they’re engineered to help guide people to the right resources.
Also at the summit Chance announced that his New Chance fund established in 2017, which gave out resources to 20 public schools, has been extended for another year. This year the fund will distribute $2 million to another 20 schools, with a focus on computer science enrichment thanks to help from Google. It’s gestures and investments like these that show dividends in our future generation, so hats off to Chance.