Rappers Kanye West And Common Aim To Create Jobs For Chicago Youth

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4-18-2014 11-58-34 AM

Rappers Kanye West and Common are teaming up to help their city launch an initiative to create jobs for the youth in Chicago. With Common’s Common Ground Foundation, Kanye’s Donda’s House and five other Chicago-based nonprofit groups, the coalition aims to put young black males to work in a city where gang violence continues to rise.

“Obviously, one of the biggest reasons our kids are going through what they’re going through is because of poverty,” said Common in a press conference yesterday. “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.”

The non-profit organizations plan to offer jobs starting at the end of September with the goal of impacting 15,000 youths by 2015. Part of their fundraising efforts will be a music festival called THE AAHH! FEST in which youth will be selected to showcase their talents in September. The event will be sponsored by Kanye and Common’s foundations.

“Year-round job opportunities and support services will significantly improve the well-being of our youth and strengthen our city. We owe it to our young people to make this investment in them,” said President and CEO of Chicago Urban League Andrea L. Zopp. The financial sources and strong work-ethic is an investment that will help keep the youth out of harm’s way.