Updated: Jan 6
TikTok has aimed to improve its relationship with Black creators after many have spoken up about the lack of recognition for viral trends they’ve created. This year many creatives even participated in a virtual strike, where they had refrained from posting content to TikTok’s platform. TikTok has sought ways to create a more inclusive, supportive space for creatives of the POC community, such as collaborating with MACRO earlier this year to create an incubator program and awarding grants. Its’ most recent step to create a better platform and environment is creating the new role of Diversity and Inclusion Communications, for which they have hired executive, Shavone Charles.
Shavone Charles, mononymously known as SHAVONE, is a young executive with an impressive resume under her belt. She is a versatile creative and innovator with work in the tech, music, and fashion industries. She is known for being a strong advocate for positive social change and supports the growth and empowerment of women and the POC community. Forbes writes “She’s known across industries as a renaissance woman who continues to disrupt the norm as a classically-trained musician, model and change-maker in tech, named on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Marketing & Advertising list.”
Shavone has paved the way for many young intellectuals of color within the tech and social media industries as the first African-American woman to create roles at Instagram, Twitter, and now TikTok. At Google and Twitter, she implemented successful diversity initiatives. With Instagram, she was the Head of PR and Youth Culture where she oversaw global music and youth culture communications. She created Instagram's first-ever Black History Month program in 2018, which featured a number of first-time initiatives, including #BlackGirlMagic. Shavone was most recently the Director of Communications and Creative Partnerships at VSCO.
Shavone told The Hollywood Reporter, “As a Black creator and advocate, I am thrilled to join the TikTok team and continue my work in fearlessly supporting and amplifying the stories of underrepresented creators.” Witnessing her success across numerous platforms thus far, there is no doubt that TikTok has chosen the perfect person for the job! Apart from her work within social media and tech companies, Shavone independently founded other creative businesses, Future of Creatives and Magic In Her Melanin, where she focuses on amplifying women of color and other creators. Shavone’s ability to fully embody, embrace, and exude her passion for the selfless work that she does makes her an incredible role model and inspiration, and her work with TikTok is highly anticipated.