As METRO’s Film Maker I get the privilege of working on many of our digital outputs, getting to hear and watch discussions, debates and interviews with staff, volunteers and service users first-hand. I always feel enriched with new knowledge and overwhelmed by the personal stories and incredible work that so many people within our charity take part in.
This month, I have helped produce our Equalities Podcast, METRO’s first venture into the realms of podcasting. This series, hosted by our Head of Insight Emma Jones, reflects on ten years of the Equality Act 2010. Throughout October, Emma engaged in conversations with senior leaders within the charity, both paid and voluntary staff, discussing 'equality' and what it means to them and to the charity.
The discussions touched on deeply personal experiences, stories of activism, as well as the hopes and ambitions for our charity moving forward. My highlights include Sue Elsegood, Co-Chair of METRO GAD remembering her first acts of civil disobedience in the 1990s when she campaigned for accessibility on public transport. I was also moved by our CEO, Dr Greg Ussher speaking of the joy of being able to marry his husband in 2009, something that he never thought he would be able to do when he was a young gay man growing up in Australia; Our Director of Strategy, Naomi Goldberg, talked candidly about her position as a senior woman within the charity and being a role model for other women within METRO, and also Barbara Gray, one of our Trustees and the former Mayoress of Lewisham (2019-2020) discussing the legacy of inhabiting that position as a Black woman for both her family and communities more widely.
The world of digital and social media has unfortunately in some aspects become an increasingly hostile place, existing for some as a breeding ground for division and hate. It would be easy for us at METRO to step away and not be active in these spaces. However, for a charity that champions equality, it is vital that we use our knowledge and experience to further the discussions around equalities’ issues and continue to advocate for change. Digital media is one essential tool we can embrace in this noisy world to empower the communities we work with, often those with protected characteristics, so that their voices may be heard. We must broadcast to the world our insights and passion for equalities through new media, video and podcasts, and continue to ‘celebrate difference’.
You can listen to all episodes of our Equalities Podcast for free now on your preferred podcast app or on anchor.fm/metro-charity