Shaheed Rucker is not your typical 26 year-old businessmen. He doesn’t work in a fancy corporate office or wear a three-piece suit everyday. No, he is much more comfortable in jeans and a tee shirt, specifically an Anderung tee shirt, a clothing brand that is just one of his many business ventures. In fact, labeling Shaheed a mere businessman is doing him a disservice. There are a myriad of other words that better describe who he is and what he does. Trailblazer, entrepreneur, jetsetter, these are just words synonymous with the name Shaheed Rucker.
The Philadelphia native graduated from Bethune-Cookman University with a degree in psychology, not management, but over the course of 7 years he has managed to take what he has learned and lay the foundation of a social revolution. Partnering with his childhood friends Shaheed founded Changemakers, a multifaceted organization. Changemakers’ ambition is to have a positive impact on the well being of modern society. “ I wanted to create opportunities in my community for those that didn’t have many. You know the doors aren’t always unlocked. I was once that kid that didn’t have many opportunities available to me so I decided to make my own,” says Rucker.
The “changemakers” plan, organize and promote events that strategically integrate issues like social responsibility and physical and mental health awareness with the arts, fashion, sports and social affairs. Take for example their Arts, Beats and Eats event, a monthly mixer aimed at bringing professional men and women together in a more relaxed atmosphere. Those in attendance enjoy a night of gallery art, spoken word, wine tasting and live music.
Rare is it that you find a group of young black men willing to challenge the standards of society by advocating creativity, individuality and humanity. Their goal is to be a catalyst for social reform while being entertaining yet maintaining a strong sense of morality and integrity.
Shaheed also looks to bring change to the world of fashion. Anderung, which means change in german, is an extension of the Changemakers brand. He has made countless trips around the world promoting and marketing his clothing line. Rapper Meek Mill and singer Teyana Taylor are just a few of the celebrities that have taken notice of Anderung’s rising popularity. However, Shaheed sees Anderung as a means to an end. The money from sales goes to help fund the next Changemakers event, be it a father son basketball tournament or the annual scholarship given to a special student in the community.
Shaheed Rucker seeks no fame or fortune for his work, because to him neither is a true measure of success. Putting an indelible mark on a child’s future and helping others realize their dreams, those are things he believes are worth valuing. In other words, his success is assessed by the number of lives he touches, hence the slogan, It’s not about the change, it’s about the change. ” I want to stress the importance of social change as opposed to monetary “change.”