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Three Key Executives Join BLM Licensing

ViacomCBS’ Simta Sawhney, Fashion UK’s Hannah Miles and Ravina Mehta Have Joined Saphia Maxamed on the BLM Licensing Initiative.

The mission to help Black Lives Matter control its own narrative got a massive boost in the UK as three veteran licensing executives have volunteered to join the Black Lives Matter Licensing Committee, headed by Saphia Maxamed, president of London Entertainment Inc.

As first reported by Licensing Source, Simta Sawhney, category director at ViacomCBS Consumer Products UK; Hannah Miles, managing director of Fashion UK; and Ravina Mehta, graphic designer at BB Designs, have joined the BLM Licensing committee to represent the licensing industry and help shape the direction of BLM’s initiatives to promote inclusiveness and implement societal change.

“I am thrilled with the support the industry has shown so far,” said Maxamed. “This stellar committee is proof of how the industry is really determined to support the movement.

“I have always pledged for the industry to work together on this very important social justice issue,” she added. “We are still pleading with retailers to work with us and we have developed a great CSR plan that we know could be a great resource and would help retailers with their D&I initiatives.”

Saphia Maxamed

While the Black Lives Matter movement began in the United States as a response to police violence and discrimination against black citizens, the movement has spread around the world, including a large organization in the UK. As the licensing industry has become more aware of discrimination issues in the US and globally, companies have launched Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives, and have worked to support BLM and other initiatives working toward racial equality.

In the UK, one of those initiatives is geared toward helping BLM get the word out through licensing programs.

“I am very excited to be joining the BLM Licensing Committee and I look forward to be working with the team towards making positive change and improving inclusivity and representation within the licensing industry,” said Sawhney, who also brought Fashion UK’s Hannah Miles onto the committee.

Miles said she is “keen to join Saphia and the committee and be part of this journey. I hope to be a useful support to the movement within our industry.”

Ravina Mehta is a humanitarian professional at the Conduit, as well as a graphic designer is also the chance to bring her humanitarian work experience to the important journey of the movement. “Since joining the movement last year, I have seen how much work we still have to do; being part of the committee is an honour,” she said.

Black Lives Matter Licensing and Black Lives Matter UK have formed the official trading company at Companies House: Black Lives Matter Movement Ltd.

Black Lives Matter UK is currently working on supporting and funding a number of community projects.

These include the Black Advocates for Children Project, Breakfast Clubs Against Racism, a Black History Virtual Exhibition created for educational use and the backing of a new book called Untold Heroes: Extraordinary Black Figures.

It is also in discussions with the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation to potentially fund a performing arts scholarship and support talent students from under-represented backgrounds, while it is also poster partners of Missing People UK and has a new partnership with Incudability, which is a platform for employers with a commitment to treating people fairly and offering job seekers a fully accessible and equitable application process.