Grammy winning hip hop artist and South Side native Common is back home this weekend. He'll throw out the first pitch at the white sox home opener, Friday morning.
But he's also here for a big fundraiser, for The Common Ground Foundation.
The musician's foundation empowers youth through creative arts. Common believes that if the community gives young people the opportunity to fulfill their dreams, more often than not they will achieve their goals and learn an important lesson in self worth.
Considering the gang and gun violence that currently plagues Common's hometown, the artist said it is essential to instill spirituality, family and love in Chicago kids. He said the community needs to re-institute its values, and remind kids that they are great.
One way they can do that is through creative pursuits.
His foundation provides opportunities for kids to develop their passions – "you work toward it because you love it." By giving kids the opportunity to succeed, they'll know what it feels like to accomplish something great. Then they can do it again and again.
Common said that if kids can learn that their life is worth something, they'll know that others' lives are worth something too.
But in order for this to happen, the community has to reach out, change, and improve neighborhood programs to afford kids these great opportunities.