Shavone Charles has been one of today’s trailblazers since she first stepped into tech.
As previously reported by AfroTech, the multi-hyphenate creative has worked for the likes of VSCO, Instagram, and Twitter. Currently, she is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion Communications at TikTok.
People have been able to learn about Charles for her work as a tech leader, but now, she is letting the world in on her personal story.
For The Next Generation Of Thinkers, Activists And Problem Solvers
On Nov. 8, Charles released “Black Internet Effect” — her first young adult book and audiobook — with Penguin. Her author debut is the latest and final edition of the Pocket Change Collective. When the series’ creator, Rachel Sonis, reached out to Charles about joining in, it was a no-brainer for her to tell her story “through a critical and unapologetic lens” on the community-focused platform.
“For the first time ever, in ‘Black Internet Effect,’ I take some time to openly reflect back on my earlier beginnings before college, my familial influence and lived experiences, all through the eyes of a much younger version of myself,” Charles shared with AfroTech. “In the book, I really focus in on some of the challenges and personal breakthroughs that have heavily influenced my path and journey. Beyond the social media highlights or snippets of what has been shared about my journey online, it’s even more important for next-gen readers to understand the obstacles and career challenges, as well as how your way of thinking can help build resilience, through adversities in your life or career journey.”
For Charles, the experience of writing “Black Internet Effect” was filled with pride and appreciation of her journey. While reflecting on it, she was also reminded that now is the time to urgently push for change for minority communities.
“With my community organizations Future Of Creatives and Magic In Her Melanin, I’m continuing to mobilize and cultivate creative spaces with a community-forward mission, as a multi-hyphenate,” Charles said. “It is critical now, more than ever, that Black creatives and BIPOC voices continue to cultivate safe and transformative spaces for ourselves and future generations. This is the only way we can collectively solve and tackle important issues affecting our communities and industries.”
She continued: “In ‘Black Internet Effect,’ there’s a section I wrote, where I talk about the importance of engineering our organizations, boardrooms, classrooms, community groups and so forth with inclusion and forward-thinking representation in mind. To sustain momentum and positive-leaning change, there’s an ongoing need for work that supports actively bridging these gaps and advocating for our needs and representation.”
In light of the current state of the tech industry, Charles’ book serves as an inspiration amid the battle people of color face as they break barriers and fill up the space.