Kanye West and Common are known to collaborate in the studio. This time around, the pair is collaborating outside of the studio to bring employment opportunities for Chicago African American teens, according to Contact Music.
Common’s Common Ground Foundation and Kanye’s DONDA’s House, Inc. are reportedly seeking to create 20,000 jobs for youth in Chicago.
Common reportedly appeared at a press conference to say the initiative aims to steer children on the right path to success, rather than a life of crime on the streets.
“Obviously, one of the biggest reasons our kids are going through what they’re going through is because of poverty,” Common said. “I was doing an event in the neighborhood and there were some kids… and I said, ‘Man, what do y’all really need? What’s gonna stop this (poverty)?’ And they were like, ‘We need money. Man, if we could work.’ They want a chance.”
A recent Chicago Urban League report found black male teens aren’t receiving equal treatment in the workforce in Chicago. The report shockingly states 92 percent of black male teens were unemployed in 2012.
The discriminatory practices by companies are heavily affecting teens aged 16-19.
The eight percent of working Chicago teens is extremely low compared to the nationwide average of 17 percent and state average of 12 percent.
The Chicago Urban League found there are 600,000 fewer jobs in Illinois today than in the year 2000.
The jobs normally given to teens are now being given to adults. This includes fast food, “entry level” retail jobs and paper delivery.
Adults don’t fare much better in the job force with the unemployment rate for African Americans in Chicago standing at 19.5 percent.
Common and Kanye West will raise money for their initiative with a music festival. It will be held Sept. 20- 21.
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