Rappers Kanye West and Common have joined forces on a new initiative to provide over 20,000 jobs for young people in their native Chicago, Illinois. The pair is using their star power to help the less fortunate using their youth-focused non-profit organisations based in the Windy City.
Through West’s charity Donda’s House Inc. and Common’s Common Ground Foundation, they have created a new employment drive with the Chicago Urban League, which focuses on building strong African American communities. Common has revealed that a recent study showed a huge percentage of young people in Chicago are unemployed, and he hopes this new campaign will steer kids on a path to a successful career, rather than a life of crime on the streets.
He explains, “Obviously, one of the biggest reasons our kids are going through what they’re going through is because of poverty. I was doing an event in the neighbourhood and there were some kids… and I said, ‘Man, what do y’all really need? What’s gonna stop this (poverty)?’ And they were like, ‘We need money. Man, if we could work.’ They want a chance.” In addition to helping teens find jobs, the rappers will also curate a music festival that will serve as an annual fundraiser for the initiative. The first event will be held 20-21 September (14).