Google to give $1.5 million to SocialWorks, Chance the Rapper’s youth charity, & Chicago Public Schools
While STEM fields and the jobs to which they connect remain some of society’s most coveted and compensated, these professions do not often represent the pluralistic world in which people live. Apparently, Google has come up with a plan that they hope might alleviate those concerns as they pertain to the technology company.
As Essence reported, Google recently announced that it would provide SocialWorks, Chance the Rapper’s youth empowerment charity, with a $1 million grant. In addition, Google is sending $500,000 to Chicago Public Schools.
“We’re honored to support SocialWorks’ mission to help underrepresented students in Chicago reach their full potential, as well as Chicago Public Schools’ efforts to turn computer science into a pathway for creative expression,” Google.org principal Justin Steele said.
“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,” Steele continued. “With exposure to computer science, students can use technology to turn their creative passions — whether that’s art, writing, music or something else — into something bigger.”
SocialWorks Executive Director Justin Cunningham emphasized the varied ways youth can tap into technology to expand their minds, display their crafts and be more at home in a digitally savvy society.
“While every student doesn’t need to become a computer scientist, understanding the basics empowers them to understand the world they live in,” Cunningham said. “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.”
A few months ago, Chance partnered with Lyft to increase arts opportunities for Chicago’s young people. Time will tell if these efforts bring true and lasting change to Silicon Valley’s race problems, or if they are just meant to divert attention away from them.