At a press conference held last Wednesday, rapper Common announced that his foundation has joined forces with Kanye West’s company DONDA House Inc. along with the Chicago Urban League to create over 20,000 jobs for the youth of Chicago.
After a studied revealed that 92% of black teens in Chicago are unemployed, Common hopes that these jobs will provide black youth with enough opportunity to detour them from a life of crime.
“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 neighborhood and there were some kids from Englewood and I said, ‘Man, what do y’all really need? What’s gonna stop this?’ And they were like, ‘We need money. Man, if we could work.’ They want a chance,” said rapper Common.
And these won’t just be temporary jobs….
“It’s one thing to provide summer jobs for these kids, but we’re trying to provide year-round jobs,” said Andrea Zopp, CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “We’ve had hearings and the kids have told us that they need jobs year-round.”
The initiative will also bring a musical festival that will act as a yearly fundraiser to raise money for the jobs and other programs. It will be held on September 20-21 behind the Museum of Science and Industry in Hyde Park. No word yet on the line-up for the festival but the organizers is hoping to pull a few big names from the Chi.