Law Needs Feminism Because
 
 

2019 National Forum x Halifax

 
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Heartfelt thank you to the rad women of UNB & Dal for hosting our third National Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia on February 23, 2019. And thank you to all the attendees & workshop hosts, as well as our keynote, Justice Anne Derrick & artist El Jones for helping us move this conversation forward!

 
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Every year, in the spirit of International Women’s Week, law students, lawyers and legal professionals come together to take part in various workshops, panel discussions and activities on feminism and legal system. This year, we expanded our reach and welcomed social workers, paralegals, court workers and other people involved in the justice system.

 

This year’s theme was grassroots movements.

 
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it takes many hands and many voices to frame an authentic challenge to injustice and effectively pursue the goal of equality
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justice anne derrick

[ keynote speaker ]

Justice Anne Derrick started with a simple thought: the struggle for justice is not light work, it takes many hands.

Through stories of courtroom protest, law reform, litigation, advocacy, and public education, justice Derrick brought to light the importance of collaboration between professional and grassroots communities. She urged lawyers and non-lawyers, public interest advocates, professional and citizen journalists, community activists, and community members to work together for a single goal. She gave examples from pro-choice litigation and advocacy to grassroots work in drug policy. She advised that lawyers must be willing to listen and to forge alliances with community members and activists and First Voices (people with lived experience) to achieve justice. She left us with powerful words: “the vindication of rights and the pursuit of justice require courage and resolve from all involved.”

artistic expression: el jones

spoken word poet, educator, journalist, and community activist, El Jones opened the forum by sharing with us her words and courage through her spoken word art. through the voices of formerly incarcerated women, she shared with us the stories of these strong women and the injustices that prevail in our criminal justice system.

 photo credits: haley anne macphee

 
 

The 3rd National Forum was held in downtown Halifax at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

 
 
 

Want to help support our national forum? Click here to learn more about how you can become a community supporter.

 

stay tuned for how you can support the 2020 national forum!

 
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folks behind the third national forum

 
 
SERENA SMITH    Serena has lived in a number of provinces but now considers Fredericton, NB home. Serena completed her undergraduate degree honouring in History and Political Science at the University of New Brunswick. She is passionate about connecting with people, helping others and contributing to social change. This passion motivated her to study Social Work at St. Thomas University and then later Law at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Serena is the Volunteer Coordinator for the UNB-PBSC Wills Project, President of the Mental Health and the Law Society, President of the Poverty Law Society and Chair of the UNB Student Disciplinary Committee. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and is an alumnus of Pond-Deshpande Centre for Entrepreneurship - Student Ambassador program, where she was fortunate to represent the cohort at the 2017 Development Dialogue conference in Hubballi, India. Serena is an avid reader, traveller and dog enthusiast. Serena was inspired to join LNFB by the photo campaign and is so thankful for the opportunity to be part of this movement.

SERENA SMITH

Serena has lived in a number of provinces but now considers Fredericton, NB home. Serena completed her undergraduate degree honouring in History and Political Science at the University of New Brunswick. She is passionate about connecting with people, helping others and contributing to social change. This passion motivated her to study Social Work at St. Thomas University and then later Law at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Serena is the Volunteer Coordinator for the UNB-PBSC Wills Project, President of the Mental Health and the Law Society, President of the Poverty Law Society and Chair of the UNB Student Disciplinary Committee. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and is an alumnus of Pond-Deshpande Centre for Entrepreneurship - Student Ambassador program, where she was fortunate to represent the cohort at the 2017 Development Dialogue conference in Hubballi, India. Serena is an avid reader, traveller and dog enthusiast. Serena was inspired to join LNFB by the photo campaign and is so thankful for the opportunity to be part of this movement.

KATHLEEN KONTAK ADAMS    Kathleen is a 2L Law Student at UNB hailing from the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. She obtained BA in the highlands of NS at StFX University and then her Masters in Art History and Conservation from Queen's University. Prior to coming to UNB she worked in higher education and the medical field. Fertility and reproductive health are her main interests after spending time working at Atlantic Assisted Reproductive Therapies in Halifax. Her legal career got kicked off with a focus in labour law at the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers. Kathleen is very actively involved at UNB Law, serving as Chairperson of the Orientation Committee, 2L LSS Executive Representative, and is President of the Women and the Law Society at UNB. She strongly believes that women can and should make every attempt to break into the “old boys club”, which she does by playing on the recreational hockey league, sometimes as goalie! Her small town upbringing influences every aspect of her career and why she believes in a grass-roots approach to female leadership, which is why LNFB is so important to her.

KATHLEEN KONTAK ADAMS

Kathleen is a 2L Law Student at UNB hailing from the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia. She obtained BA in the highlands of NS at StFX University and then her Masters in Art History and Conservation from Queen's University. Prior to coming to UNB she worked in higher education and the medical field. Fertility and reproductive health are her main interests after spending time working at Atlantic Assisted Reproductive Therapies in Halifax. Her legal career got kicked off with a focus in labour law at the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers. Kathleen is very actively involved at UNB Law, serving as Chairperson of the Orientation Committee, 2L LSS Executive Representative, and is President of the Women and the Law Society at UNB. She strongly believes that women can and should make every attempt to break into the “old boys club”, which she does by playing on the recreational hockey league, sometimes as goalie! Her small town upbringing influences every aspect of her career and why she believes in a grass-roots approach to female leadership, which is why LNFB is so important to her.

SHAYNA LEVINE-POCH    Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Shayna Levine-Poch is currently in her second year of Law School at the University of New Brunswick. Prior to, she attended Queen’s University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Shayna spent her early years training as a competitive dancer, surrounded by countless female role models who encouraged her to take on active leadership roles. In recent years, Shayna has been executive on numerous local, national and international committees and organizations — all of which share the common thread of supporting individuals of marginalized populations. Through these involvements, Shayna has travelled to and volunteered in several international communities where she observed the benefits of activism and community engagement first hand. Shayna is honoured to be a part of this years #LNFB National Executive and is excited to meet, work alongside, and learn from other like minded feminists and activists.

SHAYNA LEVINE-POCH

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Shayna Levine-Poch is currently in her second year of Law School at the University of New Brunswick. Prior to, she attended Queen’s University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Shayna spent her early years training as a competitive dancer, surrounded by countless female role models who encouraged her to take on active leadership roles. In recent years, Shayna has been executive on numerous local, national and international committees and organizations — all of which share the common thread of supporting individuals of marginalized populations. Through these involvements, Shayna has travelled to and volunteered in several international communities where she observed the benefits of activism and community engagement first hand. Shayna is honoured to be a part of this years #LNFB National Executive and is excited to meet, work alongside, and learn from other like minded feminists and activists.

 
SAMANTHA ADDARIO    Sam is a third year student at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. she is a vegetarian, an activist, and an advocate in many areas of social justice. She shares her life with a three-footed German Shepherd named Honey, who is a rescue from Mexico. Training and playing with her are among her favourite ways to unwind.    She has been a feminist since before she even knew what feminism was! Her particular brand of feminism is multifaceted, reflecting a passion for (and involvement with) a broad scope of feminist issues. It is also intersectional, and she acknowledges and seeks to understand the unique sets of challenges that racialized, Aboriginal and Indigenous, 2LGBTQIA+, criminalized, and other already-vulnerable groups of women still face in modern society. One form of activism her feminism has taken relates to women's bodies and, in particular, how that patriarchal structure of Canadian society positions women's bodies as second class. She believes that law needs feminism because it is incumbent upon our legal system (and all those who claim to serve it) to address, reject, and disassemble the status quo when said status quo leaves any persons or groups vulnerable. The time for reform is now. The place for feminism is here .

SAMANTHA ADDARIO

Sam is a third year student at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. she is a vegetarian, an activist, and an advocate in many areas of social justice. She shares her life with a three-footed German Shepherd named Honey, who is a rescue from Mexico. Training and playing with her are among her favourite ways to unwind.

She has been a feminist since before she even knew what feminism was! Her particular brand of feminism is multifaceted, reflecting a passion for (and involvement with) a broad scope of feminist issues. It is also intersectional, and she acknowledges and seeks to understand the unique sets of challenges that racialized, Aboriginal and Indigenous, 2LGBTQIA+, criminalized, and other already-vulnerable groups of women still face in modern society. One form of activism her feminism has taken relates to women's bodies and, in particular, how that patriarchal structure of Canadian society positions women's bodies as second class. She believes that law needs feminism because it is incumbent upon our legal system (and all those who claim to serve it) to address, reject, and disassemble the status quo when said status quo leaves any persons or groups vulnerable. The time for reform is now. The place for feminism is here.

JENNIFER ANDERSON    Jennifer is a 1L at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law. She graduated from StFX University with an Honours degree in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies. Her studies and extracurriculars have allowed her to engage in women’s issues from both local and global perspectives, specifically through her work with the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and the Women’s Centre for Leadership at the Coady International Institute. Jennifer’s main interest area involves reform of laws and practices surrounding sexual assault. She is an active member of the Dalhousie Feminist Legal Association and OUTLaw, the LGBTQ+ group on campus. She is incredibly excited to be a part of LNFB and to work with so many inspiring and intelligent feminists!

JENNIFER ANDERSON

Jennifer is a 1L at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law. She graduated from StFX University with an Honours degree in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies. Her studies and extracurriculars have allowed her to engage in women’s issues from both local and global perspectives, specifically through her work with the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and the Women’s Centre for Leadership at the Coady International Institute. Jennifer’s main interest area involves reform of laws and practices surrounding sexual assault. She is an active member of the Dalhousie Feminist Legal Association and OUTLaw, the LGBTQ+ group on campus. She is incredibly excited to be a part of LNFB and to work with so many inspiring and intelligent feminists!

JUSTINE LUCAS    Born and raised in the small Acadian village of St-Joseph du Moine, Nova Scotia, Justine is a 3L student at Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law. She completed her B.A. Honours in Forensic Psychology in 2015 at StFX University. Following the completion of practicum placements at the Crown Prosecutor’s Office in Antigonish, NS, as well as with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Cape Breton, Justine developed a passion for advocacy which led her to pursue a career in the legal field. Justine is currently serving as Co-Chair of the Dalhousie Feminist Legal association – her second year in this role. Through pro-bono opportunities at Schulich, she has developed a strong interest in prison reform as well as advocacy for the rights of women and minorities during incarceration. She has also been actively involved in projects such as the annual Dec. 6th Vigil commemorating National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, as well as with legal research and programming for Stepping Stone - a non-profit organization in the Maritimes that supports persons currently and formerly involved in the sex trade. She strongly believes that law students and lawyers should feel motivated to use their legal expertise to support marginalized and oppressed populations within their communities.

JUSTINE LUCAS

Born and raised in the small Acadian village of St-Joseph du Moine, Nova Scotia, Justine is a 3L student at Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law. She completed her B.A. Honours in Forensic Psychology in 2015 at StFX University. Following the completion of practicum placements at the Crown Prosecutor’s Office in Antigonish, NS, as well as with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Cape Breton, Justine developed a passion for advocacy which led her to pursue a career in the legal field. Justine is currently serving as Co-Chair of the Dalhousie Feminist Legal association – her second year in this role. Through pro-bono opportunities at Schulich, she has developed a strong interest in prison reform as well as advocacy for the rights of women and minorities during incarceration. She has also been actively involved in projects such as the annual Dec. 6th Vigil commemorating National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, as well as with legal research and programming for Stepping Stone - a non-profit organization in the Maritimes that supports persons currently and formerly involved in the sex trade. She strongly believes that law students and lawyers should feel motivated to use their legal expertise to support marginalized and oppressed populations within their communities.

 

thank you to our generous sponsors and donors for making this forum possible

 
UNB Student Union

UNB Student Union

UNB feminist legal association

UNB feminist legal association

McGill Seeds of Change Fundraising Campaign

McGill Seeds of Change Fundraising Campaign

SALAD - Student Animal Law Association of Dalhousie

SALAD - Student Animal Law Association of Dalhousie

UNB Associated Alumni

UNB Associated Alumni

Fasken

Fasken

The Canadian Bar Association - L’Association du barreau canadien  Nova Scotia Branch - Division de la Nouvelle-Écosse

The Canadian Bar Association - L’Association du barreau canadien

Nova Scotia Branch - Division de la Nouvelle-Écosse

DFLA - Dalhousie Feminist Legal Association

DFLA - Dalhousie Feminist Legal Association

Law Student’s Society - University of New Brunswick

Law Student’s Society - University of New Brunswick

UNB Law

UNB Law

Dalhousie Student Union

Dalhousie Student Union