Hope for Students is blessed to be supported by chart-topping rapper, recording artist, producer and writer Derek Minor. He released a song and video this past summer called Free where he is examining the value of black life in America. Minor graciously offered the proceeds from Free’s iTunes purchases to Hope for Students. In September, Derek participated in a concert event in Orlando with The Expectations Project, honoring students, families and supporters of education equity for black, brown, and low-income students.
The same week, Minor released his sixth solo album, Reflection, we had the opportunity to sit down with him and hear more about his heart for education equity. Minor’s own education story includes a rural education where he was the only African American student to graduate in his class and none of his teachers looked liked him. He spoke on the importance of representation in classrooms and how people outside his school helped him get a scholarship for college. For Minor, education is a critical justice issue because it is vital to the success of a family. He notes that in areas of high crime and poverty, public education often isn’t strong.
“Schools in poor neighborhoods are poorly resourced. They have outdated resources. They are being judged the same as schools that have many more resources. So then teachers are setup to lose…If we’re talking about education and giving an equal chance – then it shouldn’t matter how much money you make and what part of town you live in.”
When asked why he wanted to give the proceeds of his song “Free” to Hope for Students, Minor talked about how people are looking for tangible ways to respond to the controversial killings of black men and women in the US.
“If we want to change our communities, we have to start with education. That’s a tangible thing we can get to change.”
Minor goes on to talk about how we are all made in the image of God – and education inequity doesn’t honor that truth. Hope for Students is grateful for Minor’s passion for truth, education and how he’s reflecting God’s great love for our children. Please check out more of his thoughts in the two videos below and go purchase his song Free and check out his new album as well!