Google has reaffirmed its commitment to help diversify the tech industry by donating $1 million to Chance the Rapper’s non-profit SocialWorks and $500,000 to Chicago Public Schools’ CS4All Initiative.
Chance’s SocialWorks organization has spearheaded initiatives that would improve the lives of Chicago-area children by exposing them to the arts, music, and coding as a means to express themselves. On Wednesday, Google announced they would help fund the dreams of many with the very generous donation.
The Chicago rapper took to Twitter to express his gratitude and to tell his followers that the funds will go to 20 schools on the south and west sides.
Chance also visited fifth graders at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Academy to give coding a try and to make the big announcement.
According to Google, the grant will help teachers implement computer science and an arts curriculum in their classrooms. It already builds on $40 million in Google.org grants that provide opportunities for students underrepresented in computer science to explore the field.
“Our grant with Google.org helps SocialWorks provide programming that sheds light on another pathway to success for young Chicagoans,” Justin Cunningham, Executive Director of SocialWorks, explained. “While every student doesn’t need to become a computer scientist, understanding the basics empowers them to understand the world they live in. The opportunity to help kids code to share their music, artwork and distinct point of view is at the core of our mission and an experience we look forward to providing in classrooms across the city.”
Justin Steele, Google.org Principal who leads their work in local communities said this is just the first step. The students will be given the tools to change the future.
“There’s so much talent and creativity in the communities that these schools serve, and Chance The Rapper embodies what can happen when that creativity is unleashed. With exposure to computer science, students can use technology to turn their creative passions into something bigger.”