Several hip-hop artists are using their platforms for social good, and rapper Vic Mensa is one of them. Weeks after it was reported that Chicago police officials placed an open truck with Nike sneakers and Christian Louboutin shoes in a neighborhood in efforts to bait local residents into stealing the items so that they can arrest them, Mensa has decided to give away shoes to individuals in the community, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Through his organization SaveMoneySaveLife Vic Mensa—who is a Chicago native—will go back to the same place where officials put the truck to host a back-to-school event, the news outlet writes. As part of the event, he will distribute sneakers to kids in the neighborhood. The organization is aiming to collect 5,000 pairs of sneakers to be given to the children.
“We wanted to do something in response, but have a positive response,” Laundi Keepseagle, Executive Director of SaveMoneySaveLife said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “We don’t want to create conflict with the police, but we do want to take a step forward, and just showcase that acts like that aren’t acceptable in communities that we care for.” Several activists have backed the music artist’s efforts.
This isn’t the first time that the rapper has made the effort to give back to his hometown. Earlier this year, he announced the launch of SaveMoneySaveLife to help youth in the city mentally deal with the trauma that stems from violence. “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,” he said in an interview with Billboard. “These murders are affecting everyone, every single person in the community. It’s very rare that they get an opportunity to talk to somebody about the trauma and to work through it.”