Travis Scott announces Project HEAL initiative

%40travisscott+on+Instagram

@travisscott on Instagram

Sabrina Varuolo, Staff Writer

Rapper Travis Scott has created a new action called Project HEAL, a multi-million dollar funded project promising to help younger generations in marginalized groups.

The announcement followed months after 2021’s Astroworld Festival crowd surge, which killed 10 people and injured at least 300. At last year’s Astroworld, on Nov. 5, a rowdy crowd began to push towards the front of the stage, trampling attendees. With no room to move, the crowd crush resulted in hundreds of injured fans. 

The main goal of this initiative is to make larger events as safe as they can be, ensuring that tragedies like the one at Astroworld will not happen again.

Scott claimed he did everything he could to help those in danger at the event given he could not hear the cries of the victims being harmed over the loud music. Despite this, the rapper played his entire 25 song setlist, only stopping momentarily to notice ambulances or unconscious fans in the crowd. Scott then left the stage and said, “I love y’all. Make it home safe. Goodnight!”

Feeling responsible for the incident, Scott felt it was his civic duty to use his platform for the greater good. Specifically, he wanted to honor the victims who he said will “remain in his heart forever.” 

“Giving back and creating opportunities for the youth is something I’ve always done and will continue to do if I have the chance,” Scott wrote on Instagram. “This program will be a catalyst to real change and I can’t wait to introduce the rest of the technology and ideas we’ve been working on.” 

According to the Projects website, “Project HEAL is a multi-tier initiative dedicated to addressing challenges facing today’s youth, especially those from marginalized and at-risk communities.”

Project HEAL works with foundations and other resources to fund and gain support for their initiative. The Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund will allot one million dollars in scholarships to seniors who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who have achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and/or those who are in danger of not graduating because of financial struggles. The purpose of the scholarships is to help these students finish school and receive their diplomas.

Scott also worked with the Cactus Jack Foundation to fund a workspace in Houston, TX. The workspace will house an in-depth creative design education, offering low-income students the opportunity to grow their design skills and learn about the field from industry professionals. Many middle and high school students have already enrolled, despite the project still undergoing development.

Furthermore, Project HEAL intends to launch a free care hotline for those who are struggling with mental health issues. All crisis hotline workers are certified and trained to work with struggling patients. 

Houston native Dr. Janice Beal will aid Scott in developing mental health resources in Houston school districts, especially for those who are struggling in the ongoing pandemic.

To ensure safety at upcoming large events, Project HEAL promises to reach out to the mayor of each town and create a comprehensive security plan for each event. 

Project HEAL has sparked some criticism, specifically from family members of those who were killed in the Astroworld tragedy. The family of Ezra Blount, the nine-year-old victim at Astroworld, took to court to either amend a gag order to ensure that all involved in the festival won’t make public statements or to cancel the annual festival altogether. The Blount family told Rolling Stone they were worried that this project could sway jurors into siding with Scott in court.

One University student gave her opinion by saying, “I think it is a good thing that Travis Scott is acknowledging the tragedy and attempting to help in any way he can. I understand where the families of the victims are coming from, but I think we need to realize that he feels bad about what happened and is trying to help create positive change for the future.”