Life is a series of moments. Most of the moments of our lives just tick by lost in day-to-day life. Sometimes, however, moments stick and they provide insight – I had one of those moments tonight as I watched Katrina Pacey receive the UBC Law Alumni Achievement Award for Outstanding Young Alumna/Alumnus.
Using the law as a catalyst for positive social change, Pivot Legal Society works to improve the lives of marginalized communities.
I have worked side-by-side Katrina for the last six years. I have watched her take issues that matter to Downtown Eastside sex workers to court (Supreme Court of Canada soon), watched her speak passionately and eloquently about needed reforms in drug policy, and I have relied on her business acumen to make the difficult financial decisions required to run a non-profit organization on a shoe-string budget. Despite all of this, tonight – in a room full of lawyers, partners, judges and justices – I came to better understand what a bright light she is in the Vancouver legal community.
Katrina was being honoured for “already having significant impact on the social fabric of Vancouver” a mere seven years after her graduation from UBC Law. She was introduced to the 300+ crowd by Joe Arvay, Q.C. Joe and Katrina have had a long working relationship and his deep admiration for her was obvious as he told stories of Katrina as a young woman and a young lawyer. “Look out for Katrina Pacey,” he warned the crowd, “she is going to change the world…or make a lot of powerful people miserable trying.”
Sitting at my table I reflected on Katrina’s role in the world – how she fights with so much grace and integrity; how she brings so much light to her work. I felt proud to know her, to work alongside her. Joe was right - Katrina is changing the world. Consider yourself warned.