Team Profile: Ben Charbonneau

Scout Books Culture
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Our team makes us who we are, and the work we do possible. We’re excited to share profiles of our fantastic team here at Scout Books, starting with one of our press operators, Ben Charbonneau.

When did you join Scout Books and what made you interested in joining the team?
I joined the Scout Books team in June 2015. I had been looking for sustainable printing jobs that were not screen printing, and through some connections I found out about an open position at Scout Books. The rest is history!

Do you have a favorite book or project you’ve worked on?
This is a tough one! So many unique and interesting projects come through the shop that I tend to mix up their origins but I do remember their artwork. We recently printed a book that has navy blue flood with a yellow diamond in the middle. It looked so beautiful on the press sheet and final product. I think I morphed into the emoji with heart eyes.

Outside of Scout Books, what are you passionate about?
I’ve been working on getting more involved in social justice rights. I’m leading the first project for Scout Books Equity Alliance and interning at city commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s office; I’m trying to learn as much as I can about the intersection of policy and social justice and how to make all of that information accessible to everyone. Our Equity Alliance is the perfect platform to start learning how to make important information readily accessible to the greater public. What we’re doing is creating a Scout Book every quarter that’s aimed to bring awareness to various causes like homelessness, immigration, women’s right to choose, education, LGBT rights, food equality, etc. We’re really excited to invest ourselves even further in these causes while bringing intersectional unity between artists and progressive causes.

Have you made your own Scout Book? What was it for?
I have! Last summer I made a Scout Book for a fundraiser I was doing to help offset the costs of my “top surgery”, a gender confirming surgery that masculinized my chest. I’m openly transgender and having any type of gender confirming surgery is expensive and not generally covered fully by health insurance providers. I made my Scout Books as a thank you for everyone who donated to my fundraiser. I raised enough money to be able to donate a portion to Point of Pride, a nonprofit that helps other transgender and gender nonconforming individuals who don’t have the financial means to undergo the procedures they need.

What has been your favorite Scout Books experience?
I don’t have one particular experience in mind, what does come to mind as a favorite is that feeling that I have anytime I think about SB. Being apart of the SB team truly feels like being a part of a family. We are a small group of people that care about the sustainability and quality of our tiny books and I think it shows with every project we take on.

If you could put up a billboard anywhere in the world, where would it be and what would it say?
I really had to think hard about this question, but I think I’ve got it! It’d be an outline of the U.S. and inside all it would say was “GET INVOLVED.” On the bottom there would be a link to www.flippable.orgVery minimalist, black and white only. I’d probably put it in a swing district to help encourage people to get involved with their local politics.