When Bobby (professionally known as RZA) and I created 36 Chambers, we wanted charity to be one of our core tenets. That means that even in our first collection—when we're still a ways away from being profitable—we wanted to give back to a cause we cared about.
Our first charity that we're partnering with is the Children's Literacy Society; profits from the 12 white Quilted Denim Motorcycle Jackets will be going to the cause. The Quilted Denim Motorcycle Jacket is one of our most exclusive pieces ever with only a total of 36 pieces being made (the other 24 are in black). The jacket features a poem about the rise of the Golden Dragon written by Mak Ming Chan.
Bobby is very passionate about children's literacy, which is why he wanted to link up with CLS. Based in NYC, the charity was founded by Bobby's sister, Sofia Diggs.
According to Bobby, "So many children in America lack the proper reading skills to excel and compete on the domestic and international level. Knowledge is power and literacy is a means to obtaining that power. Books educate, inform and stimulate imagination."
Below is a Q&A with Sofia about the Children's Literacy Society.
Mustafa: Tell me about the Children's Literacy Society.
Sofia: The Children’s Literacy Society supports programs for children through solicitation of funds, engagement of volunteers and partnerships within the community. Through its board of trustees, staff and team of volunteers, the foundation currently provides funds and resources for after school programs in public school programs including reading, writing, music and nutrition. Children’s Literacy Society initiatives advocate for children’s issues and community-based organizations that assist children in need.
Mustafa: When did the Children's Literacy Society start?
Sofia: November 17 2009
Mustafa: What inspired you to start the organization
Sofia: I wanted to help instill children and young adults with confidence and motivation to become productive and successful individuals.
Mustafa: Can you go into specifics about one initiative that the Children's Literary Society has supported?
Sofia: We have provided since our beginning the much needed tools for learning. We have partnered with PS 74 in Staten Island on reading programs, such as providing a "Listening Learning Set" for the students to help to improve their reading ability. We have donated books and had various guest readers so that the children can identify their ethnicity to those who have succeeded before them. Instilling the confidence that nothing can stop them! We have always provided Thanksgiving and Christmas events to those at risk at PS 74 and the surrounding communities. During our Christmas party we donated gifts that were their tools to learning
Mustafa: If people wanted to donate or volunteer with the Children's Literacy Society, where should they go?