Tige CharityServant Leader
Tige Charity is a visionary, a woman of radical faith, and a servant leader. After moving to Los Angeles with her husband, actor Antonio Charity, Tige Charity visited a foster youth girls’ home where her husband was teaching acting classes. “It cracked my heart wide open,” she says. Two years later, in May 2009, she founded Kids in the Spotlight, Inc. (KITS).
Charity’s work has been recognized by Supervisor Michael Antonovish and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisor, City of Los Angeles; Tom LaBonge, Councilmember 4th District, the California Legislature Assembly;
Honors & Awards
Charity was the recipient of the prestigious Community Service Award from the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the Ubuntu Award from The Africa Channel (inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela). Charity and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were dually honored by then-Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich for their community service at the county’s annual “All For The Love Of Kids” event.
The Unsung Heroes Leadership Foundation awarded Charity their Unsung Heroes Visionary Award for working “for the benefit of all the citizens of Los Angeles.” Charity’s work was recognized by the late Tom LaBonge, L.A. City Councilmember 4th District, the California State Assembly, CA Rep. Adrian Nazarian, 46th Assembly District, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse, U.S. Congressman Henry A. Waxman, and Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon. She also received the David Lieber Leadership
Award, the Whispers from Children’s Hearts Foundation Legacy Award, and Vessels of Honor CODE of Honor Award.
“I want to give foster youth the opportunity to share their story,” she says, “to let the world know their value and the fact that foster care does not define them; and, to show the industry the hidden jewels that are in the foster care system.”
In KITS’ flagship Script-to-Screen program, Los Angeles foster youth ages 12-22 write, cast, and star in their own short films under the mentorship of industry professionals from directors and screenwriters to lighting and set designers. The annual KITS Film Awards shares the year’s collection of short films written by and starring KITS youth with over 500 peers, friends, family, providers, personalities, and other stakeholders in attendance. Since 2009, KITS has created over 85 films with more than 800 foster youth.
“Film is just the medium we use to reach these kids on an entirely different level. There is a lot of therapeutic intervention that‘s happening in these sessions.” Therapy and creativity merge in the KITS programs: “Art has a magic way of doing that,” Tige Charity nods.