Even when passion is limitless, time and energy are not. To create lasting change, idealism must be combined with realism. Impact Producer Jane Charles keeps this in mind every time she is choosing a project. “The decision about ‘what’s next’ is less about a next project, and more about what I can do to continue to create real impact in the world,” she says.
Charles produces projects that bring awareness to serious issues, such as child trafficking, the topic tackled in her latest film, SOLD. But her work doesn’t begin and end with filmmaking. Charles is very aware that while art and media may inspire people to wish to take action, it takes an effective network of people working together to capitalize on that energy.
To tackle child trafficking, Charles cofounded a nonprofit in her local city, Seattle, along with 11 other women. StolenYouth works with partner organizations fighting youth trafficking on every level, raising over $3.5 million in the last 4 years to support their coalition. Charles also coordinated global awareness efforts with her filmmaking partners to bring attention to the issues their film addresses.
“We’ve had the opportunity to speak at the United Nations and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, as well as many anti-trafficking and child protection gatherings,” Charles says, “so I know that the world is ready to do something about child trafficking, and work with governments, business and non-profits to say ‘this just can’t happen to our children any more.'”
Uniting groups and individuals in this way, to work for common goals, is what Charles sees as the key to solving the many problems facing our world. “I strongly believe that to end many of the crises that are happening on this planet today, we humans all have to work together,” she says. “There should be no borders, geographical, political, religious or otherwise, when it comes to protecting our children, our earth, our air, our animals.”
She remains an optimist despite being painfully aware of the challenges. “I believe that the good in people will always shine through and that love is our natural state of being, and will get us through what challenges lie ahead,” she says. “Unfortunately, many of us will be forced to look at issues when we lose land masses due to global warming, when we have nuclear fallout, when we don’t have clean water or air to support us, when earthquakes and floods ravage our land so that we have fewer places to live, rather than being proactive now and doing our part. We can all be better at conservation, eating less meat, driving less, using solar power, not buying things we don’t need. By being truly present in the moment and with everyone we meet, we can become more aware of what’s needed to move forward.
“Everywhere I travel, I meet people who are doing their part and are thinking globally, but I’m always surprised when I see individuals and even whole communities that are not aware, that just care about today and are not thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow is now.”
To see how you can fight child trafficking in your local community, click here.
Blak Box shares Jane Charles’s belief in the necessity of people working together collaboratively to create lasting change. As CEO Sam Blan says, “A rising tide lifts all ships.” If you are interested in collaborating with us on a project or cause, send us a message! We’d love to hear from you.