Founded by Grammy-award-winning musician and humanitarian Chance the Rapper, SocialWorks is empowering Chicago’s youth and inspiring a new generation of artists and creators. 

The MISSION of SocialWorks is to empower the youth through the arts, education and civic engagement. 

Why is it important?

Founded by Grammy-award-winning musician and humanitarian Chance the Rapper, SocialWorks aims to empower Chicago’s youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement. Since 2016, SocialWorks has created five initiatives that present youth with the opportunity to learn and act on their passions. SocialWorks’ programming focuses on education, mental health, homelessness, and performing and literary arts – directly affecting thousands of youth annually. SocialWorks approaches its impact through two lenses - systems work and direct programming. Through these two approaches, SocialWorks can reach people to help them today and bring their voices into the work shaping Chicago’s future. 

How do they do it?

Through their five initiatives, OpenMike, Warmest Winter, Kids of the Kingdom, The New Chance: Arts & Literature Fund, and My State of Mind, SocialWorks hopes to inspire creativity, build dreams, and advocate for youth success in all its forms.

  • OpenMike – Every month SocialWorks partners with the Chicago Public Library to present a space for high school students to share, express, and network with like-minded individuals. To date, they have hosted 59 OpenMikes to an audience of over 12,000. 
  • Warmest Winter - This initiative aims to raise awareness and provide relief for individuals experiencing homelessness and extreme hardship through service, events, donations, and direct support. Through Warmest Winter SocialWorks offers communities both a chance to serve others and take care of themselves by providing direct access to resources through their events “A Night at the Museum” and “Taste for the Homeless.” They have served over 150K meals affecting 84 unique homeless shelters in the Chicago area. 
  • Kids of the Kingdom – This initiative is a faith-based choice-based summer day camp focused on performing and literary arts. While at K.O.K. campers build ownership, social and emotional learning, agency, civic engagement, and growth – academically, behaviorally, and socially.
  • My State of Mind - The My State of Mind Guidebook is an inclusive list of mental health resources for direct care services, referral-based services, educational services, and programming opportunities. This digital tool opens the conversation to help individuals in need find the proper wellness-based resources. 
  • The New Chance: Arts & Literature Fund –  This is a plan to invest and enhance access to enrichment programming within the school day. Since launching at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year impacting 20 schools within the Chicago Public School system the fund has raised over $5.1 million for 51 local schools impacting over 6,800 students.  
How you can #TravelKindly: 
  • Choose SocialWorks as your local charity when booking your hotel in Chicago or abroad. 
  • Travelers and locals can get involved by volunteering and/or donating. The best way to stay up to date with  upcoming volunteer opportunities is by subscribing to their newsletter
  • Dress to impress with some swag from the SocialWorks online store with proceeds benefiting the organization

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