Chance the Rapper received a special surprise from Former First Lady Michelle Obama as he was honored with the Humanitarian Award at the 2017 BET Awards. “Barack and I are so sorry that we can’t be there tonight in person,” said Michelle Obama tonight to a surprised and roaring BET Awards via pre-tape video for Chance The Rapper.

Chance was named Chicago’s Outstanding Youth of the Year by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Chance has actively fought to combat gun violence in his hometown and in 2014, along with his father, promoted the “#SaveChicago” campaign. The campaign sought to stop gun violence over Memorial Day Weekend, and saw Chicago go 42 straight hours without a shooting. Chance met with President Obama at the White House on April 16, 2016, to discuss My Brother’s Keeper Challenge, an initiative of the United States Federal Government to promote intervention by civic leaders in the lives of young men of color to address their unique challenges and to promote racial justice, with other musicians, including Alicia Keys, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monáe, J. Cole and others. Chance started a Twitter campaign for May 23, 2016 using #May23 to stop gun violence for 42 hours.

On March 6, 2017, after a sour meeting with Governor Bruce Rauner only days before, Chance announced his intention to donate $1,000,000 to Chicago Public Schools in order to help offset the lack of government funding provided.