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Donda’s House announces plans to change name, sever ties with Kanye West

Kanye West arrives for a meeting with Donald Trump, then the president-elect, at Trump Tower on Dec. 13, 2016. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A Chicago-based nonprofit named after Kanye West’s late mother will change its name to distance itself from the rapper, expressing concern that West’s recent, controversial statements will impede its work, the foundation announced late Saturday in a tweet.

Donda’s House, named after West’s late mother, Chicago State University professor Dr. Donda West, was co-founded in 2011 by West, former Chicago Public Schools teacher Donnie Smith and Chicago native Rhymefest, whose real name is Che Smith. In late 2016, Smith announced that he had bought West’s childhood home in South Shore for the foundation, where he planned to build a recording studio, museum and educational center.

A screenshot posted by the foundation’s official Twitter account late Saturday titled “Final Statement from Donda’s House, Inc.” announced that the 7-year-old organization has “decided to no longer use the name Donda’s House Inc.”

Calling the move “an incredibly difficult decision,” the brief statement cited recent “social media quotes from Kim Kardashian West, as well as the expressed interest of her family running the organization,” as the last straw that motivated the name change.

Smith and West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, publicly sparred on Twitter Saturday. Smith accused West of abandoning the nonprofit organization, alleging that the 21-time Grammy winner “was more interested in his [upcoming] record.” Kardashian West accused Smith of mismanaging the organization and vowed that she would “make it my mission to take Donda’s House from you and let my children run it the way it should be run!”

Earlier statements released by Donda’s House this weekend urged supporters to distance their work from West as the rapper/producer continues to make increasingly controversial public statements. West backed Trump in a series of tweets last month, and days later, said slavery was a choice during an appearance on “TMZ Live.”

The foundation website dondashouseinc.org was disabled late Saturday. A new name for the organization has not yet been announced.