Famous Bronx rap artist Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, known professionally as Cardi B, donated $100,000 to her old middle school in Morris Heights on Tuesday morning and announced her partnership with a local human rights organization that aims to uproot systemic challenges in historically marginalized communities of color.
According to a press release from Community Capacity Development (CCD), Cardi B is on a partnership tour with the organization. At the Alexander Macomb School in the Bronx Tuesday, her alma mater, the artist spoke about her own journey through the New York City public school system and the importance of education.
Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education David Banks posted a photo with Cardi B on his Twitter page, expressing his gratitude for the artist’s partnership.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cardi B back home to IS 232 #InTheBronx, and we are so grateful for her generous contribution to her alma mater,” Banks wrote on Twitter. “Cardi B’s commitment of $100K for the arts will help the school’s kids soar to their highest heights.”
On Instagram, the rapper said the school still holds a “very special place” in her heart, and that the lessons she learned there have shaped her as a person.
“Kids in the Bronx have to grow up quickly (due) to our circumstances and our environment,” Cardi B wrote on Instagram. “Like a lot of these kids, I went (through) so much while I was going to school here. Experiences that changed me forever and made me who I am today.”
She thanked CCD for bringing her to schools across New York City in her Instagram post, and said she hopes her donation will expand programming at IS 232 in the Bronx.
“I hope my donation can help create an amazing after school program that will help kids stay out the streets or a troubled home, and more importantly allow them to learn something that they can take with them through life,” she wrote.
Cardi B, who has been nominated for 10 Grammy awards — winning Best Rap Album for “Invasion of Privacy” in 2019 — also made an appearance in the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn over the weekend during CCD community events. The Brooklyn Paper reported that the rap artist reached out to CCD and asked for educational resources to become a human justice advocate with the organization.
Gun violence prevention, youth mentorship, education, conflict mediation and community development are CCD’s primary areas of focus, according to the organization. The partnership with Cardi B is a continuation of CCD’s outreach model to create change through community empowerment, system accountability and individual transformation.
This article was updated at 1:56 p.m. on Sept. 14.
Reach Camille Botello at [email protected]. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes