We are writing to you as the new President and Vice President of the BC Civil Liberties Association.
We were honoured to accept the Board’s nomination as President (Karen Mirsky) and Vice-President (Vanessa Wolff). We are as passionate about civil liberties and equality as we are about the BCCLA and its importance to the advancement of law and dialogue in Canada. We bring a powerful love of the organization, coupled with a robust sense of purpose and humility.
I am a Vancouver-based lawyer with nearly two decades of experience in civil liberties, protest law and criminal law. I have a history of non-profit governance through my work as chair for Pivot Legal and PACE Society. I am a queer settler raised on unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. As a BCCLA director for five years, I have served on the executive, fundraising and board recruitment committees.
Vanessa Wolff is a director who has served for eight years, working on the executive, fundraising and board recruitment committees. She is an experienced educator with a long history of work for civic and social organizations on behalf of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). As an immigrant, she has the privilege of living and working on the on unceded territory of the Skwxxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.
We also welcome Stephanie Goodwin, who joined the BCCLA as interim Executive Director in late 2021. Stephanie is a seasoned non-profit leader who brings more than twenty years of experience in social and environmental leadership and a deep commitment to justice to the BCCLA. We are pleased to have her experience, passion, and intellect leading the organization through the transition to our next permanent Executive Director.
We thank David Fai and Haran Aruliah, the former President and Vice President, respectively, who withdrew from their roles last winter to spend time focusing on health and family. David was a dedicated Board member who served the organization for six years as a Director, President, and as pro bono counsel. Haran served as Director and VP for four years and was a valued voice on the Board and is the father of a beautiful new child.
This year, the BCCLA turns 60. We are the oldest civil liberties association in Canada, and our work has come at a critical time in our country. We will always seek out the best way forward for the organization, those whose experiences we champion, and the issues we represent.
Together, we can work toward a future that protects our civil liberties and fosters the full inclusion of all members of our society. We invite you to join us as we move forward.
Karen Mirsky (she/her)
Vanessa Wolff (she/her)
Vice President, BCCLA