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Conversations with Mayola Charles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mayola Charles.

Hi Mayola, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I am currently the Social Impact Creator Partnerships Lead at Meta. I have spent the last 10 years working at the intersection of art and activism with a focus on amplifying visionary and trailblazing voices in entertainment and culture to spark positive change in and make a difference in our communities.

I believe the diversity of my experiences has significantly impacted my career trajectory. I’m a native New Yorker with a passion for social change through storytelling. I like to believe this is due to the fact that I hail from a large Haitian family where storytelling was a pathway to connection and understanding of a life that I didn’t have to experience due to their bravery to immigrate to the US.

Prior to my current role, I contributed to the strategic development and execution of award-winning influencer-led impact campaigns including John Legend’s #FREEAMERICA where I was responsible for securing the first-ever livestream of a musical performance from inside a federal prison. I then went on to co-produce Grammy-award-winning artist Common’s Hope and Redemption tour and developed social impact marketing campaigns for several Academy Award-winning films.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The road to where I am now has not been smooth. In fact, it was and continues to be winding and unexpected. When I completed my graduate studies, I was “prepped and primed” for a role that would set me on my very clear career path. Unfortunately, the job market was tight with grim prospects. My peers would joke that we were the “overqualified and unemployed class of 2013”. I spent nearly a year applying to roles, volunteering, requesting informational meetings in an effort to set myself apart from other job seekers. It worked – until it didn’t. I landed a perfect role within my field of study, but I quickly started to question the plans I had drafted for myself a decade prior and began exploring other interests. The struggle was that I was exploring a career path that had not yet been fully paved. The intersection of entertainment and social impact wasn’t established – public figures who were truly passionate about certain causes dominated the space, but these were bespoke efforts for incremental change. I quit my job and moved to LA to pursue a dream – scalable solutions for social change through entertainment. I boomeranged right back to unemployment, but this time it was on my own terms. It was hard to find my path, but I am grateful for the people who supported me along the way. What has allowed me to stay the course is being driven by my passions and interests. I have not wavered on the importance of this work – even when it feels too hard, insignificant, or impossible.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a social impact professional specializing in identifying change objectives to facilitate campaigns aimed at bringing awareness and social change through entertainment and digital media. I work to establish diverse partnerships with Creators, public figures, nonprofits, media publishers, etc. within the entertainment and tech industries to drive equity, promote inclusion, and support the development of voices who are historically underrepresented in these spaces. I’m mostly proud of the work I’ve done to help establish this niche space as a viable career opportunity for those who want to combine their passions for driving culture and leveraging influence for positive change. I believe what sets me apart is my appetite to challenge others and be challenged. I may be a subject matter expert via years of experience, but I acknowledge the evolving nature of this work. I welcome the opportunity to continue learning, growing, failing, and succeeding as I continue on this journey.

How do you define success?
Success is subjective. I believe my success is rooted in my steadfastness, as well as setting audacious but achievable goals. I enjoy taking risks, and it has been through these moments of uncertainty that my drive and passion for social change through storytelling, art, and media has been the most formative in my life and career. For me, success is simply having the opportunity to love what you do.

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