Lilian Min
August 07, 2016 11:50 am
The Weeknd / www.instagram.com

The Weeknd has always been open about and proud of his Ethiopian heritage, whether by adding Amharic (his first language, native to Ethiopia) to the end of “The Hills” or by sharing (adorable) pics shouting out his cultural homeland.

And now, Abel Tesfaye has figured out a way to support and highlight his culture in a pretty big way: He’s donated $50,000 to the University of Toronto to help start an Ethiopic studies program.

Tesfaye, whose parents were both Ethiopian immigrants to Canada, has given back to the Toronto Ethiopian community before. Specifically, he recently donated $50,000 to the St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which he’d attended as a child.

The Bikila Awards organization, which recognizes and fosters achievements by Ethiopian-Canadians, reached out to Tesfaye about the University of Toronto program, and the pop star reportedly immediately got on board. (He had previously received one of these awards back in 2014.) And now, his speedy response is already getting its first result: A course of studies on the ancient Ethiopian language.

Tesfaye has yet to formally announce the news himself, but honestly, this seems like the kind of thing that a real hometown boy does because it’s the right thing to do. We salute his desire to do good without drawing the spotlight away from the issue at hand: That private individuals are now being tapped to fund public education.

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