Christmas is About…

We’re so inspired by the community organisations we partner with, who this year have included the brilliant organisations below.  The work they do and the values they represent are amazing all year round, of course. But at Christmas they have a special relevance.

Inspired by our partners, I’ve picked some of my personal favourite films which capture the spirit of what these organisations do – and reflect the real reason for the season.

You won’t find any tinsel or sleigh-bells here: these are films with an evergreen message. 

This year our partners have included:

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A child protection expert watches ‘Spotlight’

Here at Damaris Media we share an office with the folks from CharityOffice, including safeguarding specialist for charities Elaine Davidson. I wanted to hear her thoughts on the Oscar-nominated drama Spotlight, which tells the true story of the 2002 Boston sexual abuse scandal.

Hi Elaine, thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Could you just share a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Hi Sophie! I have been an HR & Training consultant most of my life, but back when my children were pre-schoolers and I was juggling my career, I decided to open up my own Day Nursery. (As I didn’t have enough to do – joking – I needed good day care!). I began to get more involved, as the owner, in child protection.  We were having children placed from Children’s Services who were in temporary accommodation and fragile situations. That was a steep learning curve.

I was called in to give evidence at child case conferences where I saw firsthand what abuse and neglect could look like. It caught my heart and I’ve gone on from there to dedicate my professional life to child protection.

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Why I care about diverse films

What does it mean to have a diverse media, and why does it matter? These questions are explored by Anna Holmes in a recent New York Times piece, which looks at the issue more generally but touches on the film and TV industries. The term ‘diversity’, says Holmes, has to many people become at worst an irritant and at best a box to thoughtlessly tick.

She suggests that we tend to trumpet the exceptions to the rule whilst conveniently downplaying the enormous – and very provable – amount of bias that still remains.

Small victories are often overenthusiastically celebrated as evidence of larger change. In September, for example, when Viola Davis became the first African-American woman to win the Best Actress in a Drama Series Emmy, the moment was cheered in the press as a triumph of racial equity in Hollywood. But just a month before, Stacy L. Smith, a professor of communication at U.S.C. who, with other researchers, had just released a damning report that studied gender bias in 700 films made between 2007 and 2014, lamented ‘‘the dismal record of diversity, not just for one group, but for females, people of color and the L.G.B.T. community.’’

Actress Viola Davies
Actress Viola Davies – a historic Emmy win

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