The Weeknd Donates $50,000 to University of Toronto for New Ethiopic Studies Program
The Weeknd is one of the biggest names in all of music, and now he's using his platform to give back. The 26-year-old artist recently donated $50,000 to the University of Toronto to help fund and develop an Ethiopic Studies program.
According to The Toronto Star, a local intiative called the Bikila Award organization reached out to The Weeknd about the idea. The singer was reportedly touched by the request and agreed to help out.
According to its website, the objective of the Bikila Award organization is to "foster academic, professional and business excellence; promote volunteerism within persons of Ethiopian origin residing in Canada and to recognize exemplary Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia primarily through award and recognition."
Bikila Award board member Tam Gebeyehu tells The Toronto Star, "It’s unbelievable ... He grew up in Toronto as an Ethiopian-Canadian, and now he’s giving back to the community.” The Bikila Award organization has now raised over $170,000 for the new program. The money will go toward creating a course on Ge'ez, an ancient Ethiopian script and language.
In 2014, the Bikila awarded Tesfaye with its Professional Excellence Award. Gebeyehu says, “Back then he was doing a lot of stuff, but was still a boy from Scarborough just rising to fame. His donation helps us preserve our culture and share it with everyone else.”
In other Weeknd news, the "Can't Feel My Face" singer is set to perform at the inaugural Meadows Music and Arts Festival at New York City's Citi Field on Oct. 1 and 2.
Big shouts to The Weeknd for giving back to his community. Keep it locked to XXL for more Weeknd news.
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