This week, as we all know, Chance the Rapper along with AEG Live, Live Nation, and other supporters donated a whopping one million dollars to the Chicago Public School systems. The move was in response to Governor Rauner’s stance in their brief meeting about the state of the city. As someone who has interacted with him numerous times, I find Chano’s actions to be in line with what he and Save Money as a crew have always stood for. This time is just much more monumental. Watching his reaction after his meeting with Rauner was amazing. He legit appeared to be offended. Whatever Rauner said to him, he took it personally. He took it so personally in fact that he opted to use his platform to clap back.
No matter your side of the bi-partisan scale, if you are no fool, you understand the importance of public education. Those who know me personally, know that my mother (Dr. Audrey Parsley) is a near 20 year CPS School Psychologist. In a city full of violence, I was raised to believe that people are born inherently pure and good. The environments they are raised in, the people who nurture them, their role models (lack thereof), their low access to strong education, and bad parenting is what makes them evil. These issues and more create a deep-seeded anger and they lash out against society and others from there. Anyone who has taken the time to read the writings of Martin Luther King and Ghandi will remember the teachings of Agape; the highest level of love in Greek. A love that asks for nothing in return. A love and respect for the good will of all men.
Now, I’m no Chance the Rapper. I don’t have a million to throw at the problem. I also don’t have millions of people ready to listen when I host a press conference about an issue I find dear to me. But…I’ve worked hard to build a modest platform of my own and I want to achieve the same goals: Helping those less fortunate have an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY to better themselves. Everyone should have access to education and the learning of tangible skills. Without it, how can they show value to a potential employer when they try to join the workforce?
When I left the Underground Chicago – when bottle service wasn’t the only center of my life, I was trying to launch this brand with the angle of simultaneously launching a creative marketing program that provided young kids and professionals the hardware and the technical resources the modern-day marketer needs to get hired by an agency, start their own small business, or get any entry-level job. I sat down with some of the richest white-collar types I knew. To my surprise, no one cared. They just wanted to talk about how concerts, live music, and bottle service can make them money. One guy told me that I was “all over the board” and “needed to focus on the important aspects of the company.” Another told me, “businessmen want to make profit. Not save the world. Let’s plan to meet again, but make your elevator pitch all about your concert and nightclub projections.”
Listen, I get it. I went to DePaul for marketing and business. I just thought our desire to help others while we grow would make us different. I thought the creative marketing program would become our company’s unique value proposition to the market. I was wrong. Luckily, guys like Chano remind me that is does make you different.
It’s about giving people the opportunity. Once you give them the opportunity, they will show you what they are made of after…
Thanks for your time.