21 Savage launches financial literacy campaign for teenagers after release from ICE detention


21 Savage, the two-time Grammy-nominated rapper who was recently released from the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, is launching a national campaign aimed at teaching financial literacy to teenagers.

The campaign, which is called the “21 Savage Bank Account Campaign,” was announced on Wednesday in partnership with non-profit organizations Get Schooled and Juma.

As a part of the campaign, 21 Savage will offer monthly financial tips to teenagers and create a digital curriculum to teach them money basics, including lessons on how to create a budget and open a bank account. Young people will also be able to text their questions about money, such as how to pay for a college education, to a hotline for advice.

“Through my program, I hope to provide resources and guidance for a younger generation to value and understand the importance of being financially responsible,” 21 Savage told Mic.

“Financial literacy, especially in economically distressed communities, should be taught in every school across America.”

The rapper has also committed to donating $15,000 to 150 at-risk youth in Atlanta, the city where he lives, with the aim of helping them land on their feet and get jobs.

The campaign expands upon a similar initiative 21 Savage launched last year, also in partnership with Get Schooled, which Mic profiled in August 2018.

In an interview at the time, the 26-year-old rapper told Mic that his own negative experiences with financial literacy growing up motivated him to want to help others. “I didn’t know nothing,” he said. “How to operate a bank account, how to use a card, nothing. So I feel like that set me back a little bit as far as getting my money in order and managing my money.”

News of the program’s launch comes just one week after 21 Savage was released from ICE custody after being rounded up and detained on February 3.

21 Savage, whose legal name is Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was born in the United Kingdom. ICE says he entered the country as a minor legally in 2005 but subsequently overstayed his visa. His lawyers believe he was unfairly targeted because he has been critical of ICE in his music.

21 Savage’s detention resulted in public outcry, including support from top artists, celebrities and activists in a video released by Mic.

As he awaits a deportation hearing, which is currently scheduled for April, 21 Savage told the New York Times that he plans to fight for other undocumented immigrants, saying, “I represent poor immigrant Americans.”