The name of this site, CASSIUS, is inspired by the late great Muhammad Ali. Cassius Clay was Ali’s given name before he converted to Islam. He changed his moniker, but his mission remained the same. As an actor and philanthropist, his celebrity transcended the world of sports as he became a selfless vessel, making the world a better place. The world’s greatest fighter was not only a global icon, but a global citizen as well. He taught the world that while the hits will keep coming, its important to always fight back.
Welcome to CASSIUS’ August 2018 GLOBAL x CITIZEN issue.
This month, we celebrate change-makers past and present and ways that we can all do our part to improve the world we live in. From mission-minded travel to an inspirational interview with actor Skylan Brooks–who stars in The Darkest Minds, a sci-fi film about teen activists who use superhuman powers to fight oppression–you’ll find plenty of motivation to get out and do your part. Our cover feature, CASSIUS’ inaugural Change-Maker Awards, highlights young visionaries doing extraordinary things to make a difference.
“You have to either react or you’re going to, you know, fold.”
Two of this year’s honorees are featured on solo covers this month. First, there’s James Shaw Jr., the 30-year-old who stopped by a Nashville Waffle House after attending a frat party and ended up disarming a man with an AR-15, saving dozens of lives. “I’m not a hero. I’m just a regular person,” Shaw Jr. said of his new “Waffle House Hero” moniker. “I think anybody could’ve did what I did if they’re just pushed in that kind of cage, and you have to either react or you’re going to, you know, fold.” Check out our exclusive interview with Shaw filmed at the Fairlane Hotel Penthouse in his hometown of Nashville, TN.
Our other cover star is none other than Harlem’s Hood Pope, A$AP Ferg. A$AP Mob’s second in command has broken beyond the oft impossible barrier of New York City’s sound wave to become a national artist. But music isn’t the only way Fergenstein is living up to the Always Strive And Prosper acronym—he’s also doing good for kids in Africa via his clothing line, Trap Lord. His Spring 2017 offerings included a logo tee, hoodie, military shirt, camo jacket, bucket hat, and jumpsuits.
“I want these kids to know that they can become the highest of the high.”
The strong military aesthetic was fire, but even better was the fact that for each item sold, a school uniform was created and given to a child in Liberia. “It can impact an entire generation because many kids [aren’t allowed in] school [without them],” he adds. Ferg knows what its like to growing up in need of basic necessities and sees this as an opportunity to supply kids with something that is crucial to their education. “The aesthetic of Trap Lord was built on the fact that I didn’t have anything,” Ferg told Vogue. “I want these kids to know that they are lords and that they can become the highest of the high.”
Beyond the Shaws and the Fergs are countless other millennials working to improve their own communities and the world. Join us in celebrating them and check back each week for more ways on how you can do your part to make a difference.