Writing for Colorlines.com, Jamilah King is reporting that iconic rappers Kanye West and Common are teaming up with the Chicago Urban League to create 20,000 jobs for Chicago youth. The initiative is called the Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative, which will focus on finding year-round employment for young people between the ages of 16 and 24. The program also provides mentoring and support services. King writes:
“Chicago’s gun violence epidemic has been national news in recent years. Nearly half of the city’s 2,389 homicide victims between 2008 and 2012 were younger than 25, and more than 2,300 young people survived shootings last year, as my colleague Carla Murphy noted earlier this week when gun violence began in the city began to increase once again. Illinois also became the latest state to pass a law permitting registered gun owners to carry concealed firearms after a bitter fight that had victims of gun violence at its center.”
Recent reports suggest that nearly 92% of black male teens in Chicago are unemployed. The national average of unemployed black male teens is 83%. The local and national teen unemployment figures are alarming and undoubtedly contributing to the violence sweeping Chicago in recent years.
Both rappers are native Chicagoans.
Read more at Colorlines.