'The Chi' Collaborators Lena Waithe and Common Set to Headline Virtual Benefit Concert

The network and parent company ViacomCBS is donating $500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative to kick-off the fundraiser, 'The Chi With Love.'
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

Showtime has set a virtual concert that will feature headliners Lena Waithe and Common — creative collaborators on the network's Chicago-set series The Chi — and a focus on the Equal Justice Initiative. On behalf of the drama series, Showtime and parent company ViacomCBS will kick off the fundraising effort with a $500,000 donation. 

Waithe will appear on the one-hour special while Oscar and Grammy winner Common will perform a set during the concert that will also feature notable Chicago-based artists and The Chi cast members including Jacob Latimore, Twista, Ravyn Lenae, Jamila Woods, BJ The Chicago Kid and MFnMelo.

The Chi With Love will stream on the series' YouTube channel June 21 at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET), ahead of the season premiere later that night on Showtime at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET). 

“In this moment and always, Showtime has a responsibility to support the change our country so sorely needs,” said Showtime's Michael Engelman, chief marketing officer. “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.”

Added Waithe: "The Chi has always been a show about celebrating black life and black love even in the midst of tragedy. 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.”

The Equal Justice Initiative provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons.