Outside of his budding rap career, Vic Mensa has made a name for himself speaking up for social justice. The 24-year-old has been featured on news programs speaking on the violence in Chicago, participated in the Standing Rock protests, as well as marches for Alton Sterling.
Now the “Wings” rapper has started the SaveMoneySaveLife foundation in the hopes to help rebuild his home state beginning with the youth. According to Billboard, the organization will work with two initiatives the Chicagoan already has ties with. The first is StreetMedics, which works to train first responders within the most violent neighborhoods in Chicago. Vic has spoken about there being only one trauma center in Chicago despite the high rate of violence. StreetMedics will also put mental-health professionals in at-risk schools to help students battle through their traumas.
The rapper told the publication: “The amount of trauma that the kids in these neighborhoods are dealing with is almost unprecedented, in what we consider to be first-world society.”
“These murders are affecting everyone, every single person in the community. And this violence and this police brutality and the drugs. Almost everybody I know has seen someone they love killed in front of them. But it’s very rare that they get an opportunity to talk to somebody about the trauma and to work through it.”
The second initiative is UniVerse which is a mentorship program that focuses on education for young Black people and other persons of color. This news comes on the heels of 21 Savage announcing his organization Bank Account to help youth learn financial literacy.
Vic Mensa explained he does this social work because “it’s important” to him. He continued, “I’ve been trying to, just as a man, be present and stand with the struggling and oppressed people around the world. I just thought I could broaden my impact and my reach by starting a nonprofit and putting investment into our community.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.