Yesterday was the 88th annual Bud Billiken parade, a massive event held in Chicago to celebrate African American culture and community. Each year, a celebrity or notable public figure is chosen as the “grand marshal” of the parade, a title that is usually just a ceremonial title. However, this year, Chance the Rapper was chosen as the grand marshal, and, to the surprise of no one familiar with the generous Chicago-based rapper, Chance took the opportunity to support his hometown iby giving away 30,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to students at the parade.
Chance is no stranger to giving back to his community. Earlier this year, he donated $1 million to public schools in Chicago and helped raise an additional $2 million for the same cause. He’s also taken an active role in calling out local politicians for their inaction when it comes to funding for schools, including Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrat Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
During the parade, as Chance was fulfilling his promise and handing out backpacks to the excited crowd of Chicago students, he also announced that he would be throwing a free surprise concert after the parade. At the concert, former President Obama appeared via video to thank Chance for his donation.
A video of Obama during Chance's concert. Nothing but respect for MY President. pic.twitter.com/T0pb9lZogj
— larry hut jr. (@TelegraphAvelou) August 13, 2017
To make this incredibly generous gesture possible, Chance partnered with State Bags, a Brooklyn-based company that is dedicated to supporting those who have been historically disenfranchised. For each State Bag purchased, the company will donate a backpack, packed with school supplies, to a child in need. Their partnership with Chance is all a part of the company’s Chicago 2017 Initiative, which, according to State Bags’ website, is meant to help the city fight against “a narrative draped in negativity.” If you feel so inclined, you can follow Chance’s lead and purchase a State Bag for your kids this year (we particularly dig their Star Wars collection, but all are pretty great) and know that your purchase puts another one on a less fortunate child’s back.