In April 2016, Rachel Kohut and Vanita Sachdeva of the Feminist Collective of McGill Law—with the help of photographer, Whitney-Lewis Smith, and designers from Log Creative Bureau (now Huot & Vallentin)—released 33 portraits speaking to why law needs feminism. The campaign went viral, and in the first three days it was live, it garnered almost 1000 Facebook likes and captured the attention of CBC.
After these portraits were released, many other law faculties, feminist legal organizations and individuals reached out to see how they could host their own photo campaign or contribute their time. In that moment, the organizers realized the initiative had quickly grown beyond the walls of the McGill Faculty of Law.
coast to coast to coast
LNFB quickly grew into a national initiative that aspires to gather stories and narratives from law students, lawyers and legal professionals why law needs feminism to better understand how to shape the legal profession and system of tomorrow. And we do so through digital content, strategy and storytelling, and by not defining what law or feminism mean. We leave that up to participants.
Since the initial campaign hit the world wide web in April 2016, 13 other law faculties have joined the conversation, and many more are organizing to do the same. We also came together in March 2017 in Montreal at Sid Lee's beautiful space, 8 Queen, for our first ever national forum. Just shy of 200 feminist law students, legal professionals and lawyers united together to discuss topics of legal recruitment, alternative legal careers, mentorship and student experience. As many participants have heralded, the day was one for the books.
To pull all of this together, LNFB has raised over $12,000 since September 2016. It is truly thanks to the support of countless donors and those who have supported the initiative to date that we have been able to grow as quickly as we have.
where we are today
We continue to encourage people to host photo campaigns, events and projects to foster dialogue and conversation on LNFB. But it is crucial that the LNFB space is one where all voices can be heard, so we can best engage in conversations on how to ensure greater diversity and inclusivity in the legal profession.
We also hope this initiative will amplify the voices of racialized, indigenous, queer, trans, intersex, disabled and disadvantaged women, as well as other marginalized groups, who have historically been excluded from the workings of law.
We also welcome the support of men that help foster the space in which LNFB aspires, but hold strong on the premise that this initiative is first and foremost driven by women.
After the overwhelming success of the past year, we are currently sitting back to figure out what is next for LNFB. Stay tuned!