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ITV announces their Cultural Advisory Council

ITV has confirmed the members of its Cultural Advisory Council, a group of independent external advisers from a range of different industries and specialisms who will advise, challenge and counsel ITV on its inclusion and diversity activities.

The council will meet quarterly, with ITV’s Group Director of Inclusion and Diversity, Ade Rawcliffe, and other senior members of ITV including Chief Executive, Carolyn McCall and Managing Director, Media and Entertainment, Kevin Lygo and Managing Director of ITV Studios Julian Bellamy.

In July 2020, ITV launched its Diversity Acceleration Plan, a series of actions to accelerate change in diversity and inclusion on-screen, and across ITV, by creating more opportunities for those from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and other underrepresented groups. The plan highlighted ITV’s intention to appoint a Cultural Advisory Council.

As ITV extends the Diversity Acceleration Plan going forward, ITV will expand its efforts to include a focus on disability and socioeconomic diversity.

The council members are:

Priscilla Baffour, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, TikTok EMEA

Championing TikTok's company value of diversity and inclusion, Priscilla is responsible for driving their strategy across people, partnerships and platform, as their first Head of Diversity and Inclusion for EMEA.

 Prior to joining TikTok she oversaw the FT’s global diversity and inclusion strategy and was responsible for leading ITN’s strategy; accelerating their work around the Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap. Before that Priscilla spent five years at Channel 4 where she spearheaded 4Talent and won the Deputy Prime Minister’s Excellence Award for playing a pioneering role in tackling social mobility. Priscilla was also part of the team responsible for implementing Channel 4’s 360 Diversity Charter. 

With a wealth of experience increasing underrepresentation in media, over the last 14 years she has led several diversity initiatives with media companies including BBC, ITV, Media Trust, News International and many more. In 2018 she was named one of the top eight BAME workplace heroes at the Investing in Ethnicity Awards and in 2020 she was listed as one of the UK's most influential D&I Leaders by Hive Learning.

Dr Halima Begum, Chief Executive of the Runnymede Trust

Dr Halima Begum is the Chief Executive of the Runnymede Trust. She has held senior leadership positions across policy, programmes and research with a range of organisations including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the British Council and as Vice President at the LEGO Foundation. She has worked and lived in China, Nepal, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh representing Britain. As a disabled Muslim woman raised in East London's working-class communities, Halima is a lifelong campaigner for equality and civil rights.

Sinéad Burke, Founder and CEO of Tilting the Lens, an accessibility consultancy

Sinéad is CEO of Tilting the Lens, a consultancy that continually asks, ‘is this accessible?’ Sinéad starts conversations in every room to bring visibility to inaccessibility and partners with clients and stakeholders to build collaborative solutions that have impact today, tomorrow, and forever. Through an education, advocacy, and design approach, Tilting the Lens works to create more accessible practices, products, and places, building a more equitable world. 

She is the first little person to appear on the cover of Vogue as she featured in British Vogue’s ‘Forces for Change’ issue; guest-edited by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and she is a member of the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins’, Council of State. Appointed by Taoiseach Míchael Martin, she is a member of the Future of Media Commission and is also a member of Gucci's Global Equity Board. 

Shani Dhanda, Disability Specialist, Entrepreneur and Founder of Asian Woman Festival & Asian Disability Network

Shani Dhanda is a multi award-winning disability specialist, listed as one of the UK's most influential disabled people. As a keynote speaker and practitioner for inclusion across business, government, non-profit and wider society, Shani helps organisations break barriers and integrate inclusion into their business frameworks and currently works with Virgin Media, O2, is a LinkedIn Changemaker and was announced as one of the BBC 100 Women List 2020. Shani also founded the Asian Women’s Festival and Asian Disability Network.

Sam Friedman, Professor of Sociology, Sociologist of Class and Inequality

Sam Friedman is a Commissioner at the Social Mobility Commission and Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. He has published widely on class, culture and social mobility, and recently co-authored ‘The class ceiling: why it pays to be privileged’ (Policy, 2019). He is also the author of ‘Comedy and distinction: the cultural currency of a ‘good’ sense of humour’ (Routledge, 2014) and co-author of ‘Social class in the 21st century’ (Penguin, 2015). He is currently working on a new book (with Aaron Reeves) looking at the historical development of the British elite, drawing on the entire 120-year database of Who’s Who.

Christopher Kenna, Founder and CEO of Brand Advance, a diversity media network

Christopher Kenna is CEO and Founder of Brand Advance Group, a top 100 company 2 years in a row, which connects brands with diverse audiences globally, through Insights, Media and Creative that more authentically engages these communities - an entrepreneur who in 2 years has grown the group to over 100 staff in 5 countries and multi-million dollar turnover, ensuring that marketing revenue reaches the media, and events dedicated to all communities within society.

Christopher is a member of the WFA Diversity Board, and as a mixed race, out gay father - he is a strong advocate for diversity and representations within media and advertising. He is also on the advisory board for the V&A Museums. And the Conscious Advertising Network.

Since winning Innovator of the Year in the Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2019, Christopher has been awarded the Media Leader 2020 Judges award by Mediatel, named on EMPower’s 100 LGBT executives 2020 and EMPower’s 100 Ethnic Minority Executives 2020 and Most Diverse Media & Advertising CEO at the Global CEO Excellence Awards 2020 and 2021.

Keli Lee, Award-winning Senior Media Executive

Keli Lee was named one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Global Television” by The Hollywood Reporter and is a transformational and innovative leader with a successful track record of combining her expertise and passion in business and creative with diversity and inclusion. Her past roles include Executive Vice President of Talent and Casting for ABC Network and ABC Studio and Managing Director for ABC Studios International, where she created, built and managed the operations of The Walt Disney Company’s first international TV studio division. 

In 2001, Keli created and launched ABC Discovers, an industry-leading talent diversity program to better reflect global audiences for The Walt Disney Company which has mentored and trained over 500 diverse writers, directors and actors including Academy Award®-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, the late multi-award winner Chadwick Boseman, Pedro Pascal and Randall Park. 

Keli Lee is an owner of the Chicago Red Stars, and an investor and advisory board member of Sen, a UK-based space streaming video company. 

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