Common has never forgotten downtown Chicago where he came from and has been involved in and led many philanthropic initiatives over the years for his community. The Selma The actor recently blessed the inmates at Statesville Correctional Center with his heart of gold and donated a recording studio equipped with mixers, musical instruments, microphones and sound panels.
The equipment is part of a new program in hopes of creating a productive environment and teaching new skills to those locked behind the wall. According to CBS 2 Chicago, the initial idea was floated by attorney Ari Williams, who envisioned inmates to stay upbeat and adopt a positive attitude by rhyming and recording rhythms. She hooked up with rapper “Geto Heaven” who made the dream come true.
“I know music brings us all together. I want them to be OK. I want them to do something they love to do. And I know a lot of them are rappers. They love to rap and they love to sing. It’s our life’s work and we’re committed to it, ”Williams told CBS 2 Chicago.
“The gentlemen who are incarcerated deserve to have access to better things in life, which is why I am fighting for my city. And that’s why my heart is always with Chicago. Being from Chicago is one of the greatest gifts and assets for me in my career and my life, ”Common added in an interview with the outlet.
Common’s nonprofit Imagine Justice will also teach a 12-week course at the prison where inmates will receive hands-on tutorials on recording and music production.
“Every day they participate in this program, they get one day credit for their sentence, as long as the law allows. It gives them so much hope and inspiration to know that people really care about them, it can change them too, ”said Alyssa Williams of the Illinois Department of Corrections.