Philanthropy in Style: TAMEKA RAYMOND

SocialAtlanta's IDUNNU TOMORI sits down with the designer and philanthropist to get her take on making a difference.

Atlanta-based Tameka Raymond is a stylist to some of the biggest music stars including Lauryn Hill, Jay-z, Patti Labelle, Usher, & Missy Elliott – to name a few. But the fashionable mom to five boys and the author of two books – White Bras 101 Style Faux Pas and Here I Stand… in a beautiful state — has been making an impact with her charitable work through her non-profit organization, Kile’s World Foundation. The organization sends kids to art-based camps with workshops in the areas of acting, singing, dance and music production. The organization is a tribute to her creative son Kile, who was tragically killed in a 2012 boating accident. Kile’s World Foundation has to date supported the creativity of over 420 Atlanta students.

SocialAtlanta contributor Idunnu Tomori sat down with Raymond to speak to Raymond about her work in fashion and philanthropy.

Idunnu Tomori: Can you tell us about a charitable initiative or cause that is particularly close to your heart and why?
Tameka Raymond: My heart beats for the Kile’s World Foundation. It’s all about ‘gifting children with endless possibilities of creative endeavor through applied, fine and performing arts. To me, this isn’t just a mission; it’s a living tribute to the endless creativity and potential of our young artists. It’s incredibly close to my heart because it continues the legacy of my beloved son, Kile Glover, whose artistic spirit and love for the arts inspire every facet of the foundation.

IT: Has there been a defining moment where you realized the impact fashion could have on social causes?
TR: At my Eli Kish fashion show last month, there was this electrifying moment when it all clicked. Fashion, more than just threads and trends, can be a catalyst for change.  The show wasn’t just about showcasing style; it was a statement – that fashion can be both stunning and socially responsible. It’s where my two worlds, fashion and philanthropy, danced beautifully together. It was magic. I cried.

IT: In your experience, how can the fashion industry contribute meaningfully to social causes? 
TR: Fashion has a voice that goes beyond just the runway. It’s about advocating for sustainable clothing, staying away of earth-damaging, fast fashion. It’s about using our social platforms to spotlight the need for change, to make fashion that’s not only about looking good but also doing good.

I’ve always found that style speaks louder than fashion. It’s about expressing who you are, not just what new brands or labels you wear. Having good style creates a ripple effect; it’s timeless, influential, and it’s personal. It’s this belief in the power of style that has shaped my journey in the fashion world and resonated with others, encouraging them to find their voice in fashion. I never follow trends.

IT: Discuss any challenges you’ve faced in philanthropy, and how you overcame them.
TR: The path of philanthropy, like my life, is strewn with challenges. I’ve faced heartbreak and huge loss, which while devastating, also taught me resilience and the power of channeling grief into something meaningful. These experiences have only strengthened my resolve to make a positive impact through my work.

IT: When you’re not being a mom, boss lady and philanthropist, what are some of your favorite things to do? 
TR: When I’m not juggling my roles as a mom, boss lady, and philanthropist, you’ll find me soaking up the culture in a foreign place or channeling my creativity into designing a new concept. These are the things that recharge me, sparking new ideas and perspectives that I bring back to my everyday life.

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