Trends and Insights

Lionsgate Films' Head of Inclusive Content on Elevating Black Voices Across Industries

Published on
Feb 25, 2022
Written by
Elodie Huston
Elodie is a Content Marketing Manager on the Content Team. She spends her logged off hours cycling, scouting out soft serve, and yelling about really good books.
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We sat down with Kamala Avila-Salmon, Lionsgate Films’ Head of Inclusive Content & Host of “From Woke to Work: The Anti-Racist Journey," to hear her insights into amplifying marginalized voices across industries.   

Kamala Avila-Salmon believes that telling inclusive stories has the power to create meaningful change in the world. And as the inaugural Head of Inclusive Content for Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, she’s on a mission to amplify the stories and voices of those that too often go unseen and unheard. 

Avila-Salmon recently chatted with Attentive’s Mahdi Mahil to discuss her vision for elevating Black voices across industries, strategies for fostering a strong sense of community in a corporate environment, and how leaders can bring up a new generation of change-makers. 

Watch the full conversation below, and keep reading for her insights and top takeaways.

On making sure your ideas are not just heard, but actually implemented

When it comes to creating change—at the project or organizational level—Avila-Salmon recommends taking a two-pronged approach: 

  1. Find your champions. Identify one or two people who are eager to hear your point of view. These will be the people who will bring you into the room so your voice can be heard. 
  2. Do your homework and create a blueprint. When presenting an idea, be clear on the business context. You should be prepared to speak to the data that supports it, how it would be implemented, who would own it, and how it would drive impact. 

“When you can identify a well-situated champion, and you can give them a blueprint, you’d be surprised what you can get done,” says Avila-Salmon. “And once you’re in the room, it doesn’t serve anyone to play small or doubt yourself, or take up less space. We have to let our light shine.”

If you tell yourself “no,” that will always be your answer. If you tell yourself “yes,” you will find a person who can match that. 

- Kamala Avila-Salmon, Lionsgate Films’ Head of Inclusive Content & Host of “From Woke to Work: The Anti-Racist Journey"

On adding more seats to the table

Throughout her career, Avila-Salmon has been focused on how she can bring other people into the room. “I’m chasing a legacy that kids of all colors, kids of all backgrounds, kids of all sexual orientations, kids of all gender identities can see themselves represented,” says Avila-Salmon. “Not just because it’s the right thing to do, not just because it makes money—although those are both part of it—but because they’re human and they deserve to be in our stories. I’m constantly trying to bring in the person who’s not being advocated for, who’s not in the room, whose voice is missing, whose perspective is missing.” 

When I get that seat at the table, I think about how I can add a seat—or two seats. Because it’s not my calling to represent every under-represented group. It’s my calling to bring more under-represented voices into the room so they can advocate for themselves.

- Kamala Avila-Salmon, Lionsgate Films’ Head of Inclusive Content & Host of “From Woke to Work: The Anti-Racist Journey"

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