Showtime’s The Chi is teaming with Chicago-based artists and series cast members for a virtual concert to raise awareness and funds for the Equal Justice Initiative. The Chi With Love one-hour special will feature an appearance by series creator and executive producer Lena Waithe, along with a performance by Oscar and Grammy winner and The Chi exec producer Common. Showtime also announced a $500,000 donation by the network and ViacomCBS on behalf of The Chi. The Chi With Love will air on the series’ YouTube page on Sunday, June 21 at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT, ahead of The Chi‘s on-air season premiere at 9 PM ET.
Additionally, the season three premiere of The Chi will be available early for free online sampling on Friday, June 19 at 12:01 AM on YouTube and SHO.com.
“In this moment and always, Showtime has a responsibility to support the change our country so sorely needs,” said Michael Engelman, Chief Marketing Officer, Showtime Networks, Inc. “We’re proud to stand with Lena and Common as storytellers and as activists as we present an evening of music, joy and reflection. Inspired by all the artists involved, it’s our hope that The Chi With Love will be just one of many catalysts designed to inspire togetherness and action.”
“The Chi has always been a show about celebrating black life and black love even in the midst of tragedy,” said Waithe. “Now is a time for us to uplift black artists. This virtual concert not only celebrates black music, but it celebrates the beautiful black people of Chicago. This is from us, with love.”
Performers confirmed for The Chi With Love include Common, The Chi star Jacob Latimore and hometown favorites Twista, Ravyn Lenae, Jamila Woods, BJ The Chicago Kid and MFnMelo.
The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Season three of The Chi finds a maturing Emmett (Jacob Latimore) trying to alter the way his mother Jada (Yolonda Ross) sees him, going from unmotivated teen to full-fledged businessman. But Jada has her sights set on her own next chapter. A fledgling Ronnie (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine) is unsure of his life’s purpose but hoping it’s not too late to transform himself. Kevin (Alex Hibbert), Kiesha (Birgundi Baker) and their newlywed mothers Nina (Tyla Abercrumbie) and Dre (Miriam A. Hyman) undergo a seismic shift in their family. Jake (Michael V. Epps) finds himself in a tug-of-war between his estranged brother, Trig (Luke James), and his powerful new father-figure, Douda (Curtiss Cook), while Papa (Shamon Brown Jr.) finds love in an unlikely place.
Waithe and Common executive produce with Justin Hillian, Aaron Kaplan, Common, Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of Freedom Road Productions, Rick Famuyiwa and Jet Wilkinson. The Chi is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios.