#ThroughThatJaneThangLens: Common & Rhymefest Announce Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative

MsJaneThang - Common
MsJaneThang & Common

Now you all know that I am all about strong, empowered, and classy projects and collaborations! I am very excited about how many opportunities have come my way! So far 2014 has definitely pushed me towards my next phase of strong, empowered, & classy storytelling. With that said, I have created a new #hashtag! lol Yes another one. #ThroughThatJaneThangLens will cover events that I was hired to help others cover. My post won’t always include the pictures or footage I took on behalf of clients but I usually snap a few cell phone pics from behind the scenes. My camera has caught some powerful young men and women and I just want to share the  support, work, collaborations, opportunities, announcements and fun times with you all…starting now!

This week, I worked with the amazingly talented, Akisha Lockhart, journalist and founder of allineedisonemic.com, as a camera operator/photographer, capturing powerful moments and interviews at a press conference in downtown Chicago. So many dreams came true at once as I started to set up my tripod, got my camera ready and put my lens in focus.

Common, and the Common Ground Foundation, Andrea L. Zopp, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, and Kanye West’s Donda’s House, Inc. Creative Director, Rhymefest have united to create the Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative, a movement to organize public, private and nonprofit stakeholders collectively to advocate for resources and support services to address youth employment needs. They have rallied together to create job opportunities for the youth, year around.

“I know what a job can do for a human being”, Common, the artist, actor and philanthropist,  spoke passionately at the press conference held at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art as he recalled his own childhood memories and adding that one of the benefits of him having a job during high school years was the fact that it kept him out of trouble.

“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.”

Very inspiring speeches were heard from Common, Andrea L. Zopp and Rhymefest, Creative Director of Kanye West’s Donda’s House, Inc. as they all expressed their dedication to the youth in using this initiative as a first step towards helping to end the record breaking amounts of violence occurring in Chicago. I was very proud to capture such a moment in such an empowering atmosphere. Everyone was so genuine and sincere in their efforts. These men and women have truly not forgotten where they have come from and they are working to give back. They have gained success, notoriety and fame and they want to use their power and platforms to make a solid impact towards the well-being of the youth of Chicago. Amazing.

It was also announced that The AAHH! FEST, a two-day concert will kick off this summer on September 20-21. The Common Ground Foundation and Donda’s House will partner up and part of the proceeds will fund the year-round jobs initiatives.

After the press conference I got to shoot Akisha Lockhart’s interviews with Common and Rhymefest, which both went amazingly well. They were both such honest and genuinely kind-hearted souls with very good intentions in helping the youth. I was surpised by there humitly and the firey spark in their eyes when they discussed the new initiatives they collaborated on.  I also found out Common was rooting for my Michigan State Spartans to win it all in the NCAA finals, just like I was. lol Didn’t we all?! Be sure to keep your eyes out for all of that amazing footage over at allineedisonmic.com.

Always Remember to Stay Inspired my loves! #DreamersWin, #UpgradingMyself, #ThroughThatJaneThangLens

– @MsJaneThang

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