Rapper Common Makes Surprise Visit to Chicago High School

Common praising Dunbar Academy students for their good grades and attendance. Photo Courtesy: @ChiPubSchools Twitter

Common praising Dunbar Academy students for their good grades and attendance.
Photo Courtesy: @ChiPubSchools Twitter

In between doing press for new movie “Run All Night” and organizing a fundraiser for his Common Ground Foundation–which he and new musical sidekick John Legend performed for—Common squeezed in a mentoring session.

Last week he spoke to honor roll students at Dunbar Vocational Career Academy in the South Side of Chicago. The rapper congratulated them on their excellent grades and I’m sure they tossed praise his way for his recent Oscar and Grammy wins. Even if he didn’t bring the trophies for a show-and-tell. Tsk Tsk what a wasted opportunity that could be used to illustrate what the kids possibilities look like. And have them hold it in their hands so they know it’s real.

Oh well.

Instead he chatted with the teens about his past and the value of education.

All issues he covers in his Common Ground Foundation that emphasis’ leadership, money management and artistic expression. Skills that are sharpened the most during high school years.

A few days after the classroom visit, Common held his “Evening of Glory” fundraiser. And posted highlights on the org’s YouTube page.

GALA OF GRATITUDE: Common’s Foundation Honors Danny Glover and Kerry Washington’s Hubby Nnamdi Asomugha Philanthropic Efforts

Common hobnobbing with Jesse Jackson, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Image Courtesy: kimworldaccess

Common hobnobbing with Jesse Jackson, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Image Courtesy: kimworldaccess

Chi-Town rolled out the red carpet Saturday to give  ’round of applause to screen legend Danny Glover and Mr. Kerry Washington Nnamdi Asomugha at Common’s annual fundraiser/award gala for his Common Ground Foundation. The stars and politicians descended on Millennium Park Hotel where MCs Malik Yoba and…Ed from New York Undercover *sike* Just an early April Fool’s Joke. But, seriously, who else misses this dynamic ’90s crime fighting duo? ABC news anchor Cheryl Burton was guest host alongside Yoba.

Malik Yoba, MC Lyte, Common, Veranda Dickens (honoree) and Nnamdi Asomugha without Kerry Washington. Image Courtesy: kimworldaccess

Malik Yoba, MC Lyte, Common, Veranda Dickens (honoree) and Nnamdi Asomugha without Kerry Washington.
Image Courtesy: kimworldaccess

But Common got to deliver the special honor of introducing Danny Glover to the stage to receive the lifetime trailblazer accolade. For those who don’t know, Danny is more than the sidekick to Mel Gibson in Letal Weapon or the abusive husband of Celie in Color Purple, he’s led numerous union protests to promote workers’ fair treatment rights. And who can forget his public disgust turned formal complaint against NYC yellow cab drivers that vow never to pick up a brown face. As a New Yorker, it didn’t change much, but it definitely sparked a nationwide conversation. Overall, Danny, we hope you never get to old for “this” shit. Next up is a guy you may not see very often or hear to much about outside these phrases: Mr. Kerry Washington, Olivia Pope’s Man, Olivia Got Hitched, Kerry let him out tonight…okay, enough, people. I know what you might be thinking, is Nnamdi Asomugha deserving of the global impact award Common laid before him? My vote is YES!!! The former NFLer has proved himself worthy with The Asomugha Foundation, an org that equips young disadvantaged kids in the US with opportunities in education annnnd aims to empower widows and orphans in Africa by giving them a  chance at an education. Now do you agree? Well, are you on the fence at least?…okay, we’ll keep trying. The real winner of the evening was Common, because all the money raised will go to his Common Ground Foundation that aids in supporting kids in the arts. Hey, he even included some for the festivities: Would it really be a Common event without him spitting on the mic? Nope.

Congrats to all that you do.