Pivot Legal Society - Equality Lifts Everyone


June 7, 2011 | By Peter Wrinch

The first time I met John Richardson, I was interviewing for a volunteer outreach position at Pivot. It was late 2004 and Pivot was in a tiny office on Water Street.  I walked into the office, past a well-used couch and boxes of legal files, and sat down at a small table surrounded by people working feverishly. I was quickly introduced to John and he returned to work, hunched over his computer. The interview went well and I began to volunteer regularly.

Yesterday, Carolyn and I padded across a rain soaked Oppenheimer park to see Carrie. We arrived with 10 single-use cameras in hand to give to some of the park regulars for the Hope in Shadows photo contest for the 2012 calendar project. Carrie, a dedicated park staffer and past photo contest judge, welcomed us with open arms even though we had turned up unannounced.

June 3, 2011 | By Carolyn Wong
The 2011 Hope in Shadows camera handout. Photo by Greg Masuda

As the Hope in Shadows project coordinator my job is to organize logistics for the camera handout and do community outreach and engagement. I don’t do this alone. I have the help of my colleagues, pivot interns and more than 40 volunteers.

It’s now my fourth year working with the project and the camera handout is always a memorable and monumental event.

June 1, 2011 | By Darcie Bennett

Last week I, along with most people who have been watching the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry unfold, was astounded to learn that women’s groups, Aboriginal groups and organizations working directly with sex workers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside were denied funding to participate in the Inquiry. The Attorney General’s decision to deny them the funding needed to retain council and participate in the process marked the first time an attorney general has ever dismissed a Commissioner’s funding recommendations  

May 31, 2011 | By Peter Wrinch

The road winds, the mountains are beautiful and the conversation is really, really good. This was a Pivot staff trip to Whistler and it was one of the best trips we have ever taken. Pivot doesn’t go on a lot of trips, but over the years, we have found donated cabins, sponsored ferry rides, and pooled gas money to get out of town to discuss work and the priorities of the organization.

So what made this trip so much better than all the previous trips – two words: no work. This trip to Whistler was purely social and it felt really good.

B.C. Attorney General Berry Penner has denied funding to a series of groups who were slated to participate in the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry. This decision has left a somber tone around the office. Pivot along with the other groups who were granted either full or partial standing will receive no funding to prepare submissions. Without representation from these groups, the Inquiry will not tap an important knowledge base.

My sister is 22 years old. She is bright and has an important contribution to make. Her Aboriginal counter part, just as bright with an equally important contribution to make, will face higher rates and more varied forms of violence than she will. When she faces this violence, she will be less likely to seek the assistance of the police, and if she does call for help the police will be less likely to respond in a timely manner.

Photographer Lesya Holubowich with mentor Jan Gates

Hope in Shadows photographers from the Downtown Eastside teamed with TomoeArts on the weekend for an exciting project involving photography and umbrellas.

Past winning photographers have been commissioned to take portraits of people and objects in their community. The photography will become the scenography of EN: a raincity dance, a compilation of Japanese classical dance and taiko drumming that will be performed at the Dancing on the Edge festival at the Firehall Arts Theatre this summer.

May 18, 2011 | By Douglas King

Yesterday was a day for quiet celebration and sober reflection as the B.C. Legislature introduced amendments to the Police Act which would finally create an “Independent Investigation Office” to investigate incidents where police cause death or serious harm. Many individuals, including organizations such as Pivot, and most importantly the family members of those who have suffered the worst fate, have fought tirelessly for the creation of this body. It is definitely a long time coming.

May 17, 2011 | By Peter Wrinch

Dear federal party leaders, (Harper.S@parl.gc.ca, Layton.J@parl.gc.ca, leader@greenparty.ca, reception@bloc.org, info@liberal.ca)

In light of the promise of an Omnibus Crime Bill in the first 100 days after parliament resumes, I would like to take this opportunity to express my perspective on drug policy.