Yesha Callahan

Common & Kanye West Want To Create 15,000 Jobs For Chicago Youth Over The Next 5 Years

Arnold Turner

Common and Kanye West have joined forces to give back to the city that raised them by providing 15,000 jobs for the young people of Chicago over the next 5 years.

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

During a press conference Wednesday (April 9) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Common announced his Common Ground Foundation would be collaborating with Kanye West’s charity organization, Donda’s House Inc. and the Chicago Urban League in an initiative to supply employment opportunities to the community, known as The Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative.

“Today we issue a call to action to the public, private and non-profit sectors to join this effort to make year round investments in our youth. Summer jobs provide tremendous opportunities, but we often hear strong pleas from young people for year round jobs,” said Andrea L. Zopp, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “In addition to providing financial resources and a strong work ethic, jobs keep youth out of harm’s way. 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.”

Common’s and Kanye’s organizations were recently featured in a Stones Throw Record Documentary, are also stressing the importance of music with an upcoming music festival known as AAHH FEST!. The festival will take place September 20-21 at Hyde Park.

The festival will be held annually in order to help fund jobs and other programs in the area. The weekend of music has no official line up as of yet, but will focus on local Chicago talent.

  1. April 16, 2014 - Reply

    Now this is what I call empowerment. Kudos to both of these men for using their wealth to help other’s. I pray that this catches on to other’s of their caliber.

  2. April 16, 2014 - Reply

    While wealthy celebrities, athletes and entertainers are not the panacea for all that ails our community just imagine if many more of them joined together to launch similar initiatives? My hat is off to both Common and Kanye.

  3. April 16, 2014 - Reply

    I applaud them both for reaching out to the youth in their home cities. Although I don’t demand that celebrities always give back (if they don’t, cool more power to them), it’s nice to see ones that do seem to genuinely care. Even if they’re a little bit irascible like Kanye lol.

  4. April 16, 2014 - Reply

    i’m happy for this. i really hope this is reaching the dangerous kids in the community so they have a choice to stop being the problem. not that they shouldn’t reach out to the good ones too so they don’t become the problem in the future but i just feel like people need to put a stop to the current problem too. cuz good kids will find a job one way or the other, but the bad ones will keep ruining things for the good ones if a solution don’t come around soon.

  5. April 16, 2014 - Reply

    Stop all that violence first.

    • April 16, 2014 - Reply


      Smh. And what have you done for your community recently? Waxing aggressively about what endears black people to whites doesn’t count lol.

      • April 16, 2014 - Reply

        @Red Pill

        You’re a fucking troll. I have done tons for my community. I volunteer my time at a shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence and do tons more with various organizations that my sorority (AKA) works with. On a given day we are out here doing stuff. Fuck off with your I hate Whitey mentality sorry not everyone will think like you. You’re poison.

        • April 17, 2014 - Reply


          Hey Soror I am with you, but the root of the violence is poverty once the young men are occupied with jobs and training the desperation that leads to the violence will wane.

          • April 17, 2014 - Reply


            I totally agree.

  6. April 16, 2014 - Reply

    Can’t wait until this becomes a reailty EVERYWHERE so all youth in urban cities can work if they want to.

  7. April 16, 2014 - Reply

    Yaaaah! Common!! …..and… Kanye too.

  8. April 17, 2014 - Reply

    I wish them well.

  9. April 17, 2014 - Reply

    Yes, Yes, Yes, I have been hoping for years an African American celebrity would see the light and understand we need jobs and training in our community above all things. I hope this leads to a movement to empower their “charities” to change lives!!!

  10. April 17, 2014 - Reply

    Good to know they are using their powers for good.

  11. April 18, 2014 - Reply

    While creating jobs isn’t the solution in the slightest for our urban youth; It’s a wonderful start. This brightened my day .There is a restructuring and changing of the guard that will hopefully stem from this. I love this news. I just hope the ripple effect takes place.

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