Pivot Legal Society - Equality Lifts Everyone


October 12, 2011 | By Peter Wrinch

Last Thursday I had my first meeting of the year with Carlotta Gurl. She is so excited to be back performing at Passion for Justice. This year, we decided that we would expand the drag show and ask Carlotta if she has two other drag performers she enjoyed working with. When I posed the question to Carlotta, her eyes lit up and she responded, “Oh Honey! I know some amazing girls!” The conversation took off from there – Carlotta was throwing out ideas, planning the acts, talking about the fun she had last year.

October 11, 2011 | By Darcie Bennett

“Whose problem is it?” It seems that is the eternal question in the debate about Canada’s housing crisis. The federal government maintains that housing is the purview of the provinces. The provinces point fingers at the feds for failing to invest in a national housing strategy. Municipalities call on both senior levels of government to show leadership on this important issue.

You are probably already aware that “pivoting” does not only refer to a legal move you can make on the court (or in the court if you are Doug, Katrina or Scott). It might also include compiling a list of Single Room Occupancy hotels in the Vancouver area (as a previous intern did) or visiting the hotels on that list to promote Hope in Shadows events as I did two weeks ago. A lot has been written about the health and legal issues that residents of SRO’s might face.

Although I’ve been determined to take the social justice path ever since entering law school I have always been quite uncertain about how law can actually bring more justice to our society. Coming from Austria, I am eager to learn how another country with a different legal system confronts their issues and perhaps find some ideas I can take back home to freshen up my own country’s justice system.

October 4, 2011 | By Paul Ryan

Today the 2012 Hope in Shadows calendar was unveiled, showing the magic of the Downtown Eastside Vancouver community.
Last year, after the calendar came out, I had a Hope in Shadows “Moment of Truth” which made me realize the power of this project and how it can change anyone in a most profound way, including myself.

September 30, 2011 | By Scott Bernstein


Earlier in the week Pivot withdrew from the Missing Women’s Inquiry due to concerns over fairness. Although the Inquiry and Pivot are moving forward in different directions, my personal hope is that conversations over the safety of marginalized women in the Downtown Eastside continue. Not only to create spaces in which to question practices up until 2002—but to craft real social change and movement in law and policy for the future.

September 21, 2011 | By Paul Ryan

With less than two weeks until the popular Hope in Shadows calendar hits the streets, vendors are getting ready for the busy three months ahead. Over the last year many of the Hope in Shadows calendar vendors, who also sell the bi-weekly Megaphone street newspaper, have been attending training sessions. Funded by Vancity, these sessions have looked at all aspects of selling and managing personal finances. The article below was written by Megaphone volunteer Torey Hampson.


September 20, 2011 | By Darcie Bennett

When the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry was established we were hopeful that years of advocacy by families, women’s organizations and Aboriginal groups were paying off.

We had some questions and some reservations: were the terms of reference broad enough? Was Wally Oppal the right person to lead this Commission? We decided to put those reservations aside  because we believed that there were stories that needed to be told, questions that needed to be asked and there was a real opportunity for a strong set of recommendations to be presented to government.

My name is Liz and I am one of the new interns at Pivot. Among the things I did last week was work with Carolyn Wong on Hope in Shadows’ statement of ethical practice. All this talk about the ethics of the artistic process and the politics of representation got me thinking about how this ties into Pivot’s broader mandate. But first, in line with Thomas King’s thesis that “the truth about stories is that’s all we are,” I begin with an anecdote.