LGBTQ advocate Drew Dennis named Pivot Legal Society's new executive director

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      Pivot Legal Society has named a new executive director.

      Drew Dennis will lead the team of Vancouver lawyers who work on social-justice issues. They're scheduled to officially take the reins on May 13.

      “I’ve been a long-time admirer of Pivot and have deep respect for the legacy of legislative and social justice change that Pivot has facilitated alongside, and in partnership with, the communities most directly impacted by these changes,” Dennis said quoted in a media release. “I am both honoured and humbled to join the Pivot team to continue this critical work, and to uphold the powerful vision that poverty and social exclusion need not be inevitable.”

      An announcement of Dennis’s appointment to the head of the organization emphasizes their long career as an advocate on trans issues.

      “Drew has served alongside transgender, non-binary and Two Spirit communities and allies to achieve human rights change within federal and provincial legislation, and their strategic leadership has been instrumental in shaping the City of Vancouver’s trans inclusion policy,” it reads.

      A biography on Pivot’s website describes Dennis as beginning a life of advocacy amidst the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1990s.

      They’ve previously worked with the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Bridge Housing Society, Out on Screen, and TransFocus Consulting, which they cofounded in 2016.

      “Central to Drew’s professional and community service is their demonstrated ability to convene and inspire champions for social justice,” the biography reads.

      Dennis will take over for Catarina Moreno, who has held the position of interim executive director since 2018.

      Pivot’s last full-time executive director, Katrina Pacey, left the organization after serving as its head from 2014 to June 2018.

      “It couldn’t be a better time to pass the reins on,” Pacey told the Straight about her departure. “We have an amazing team. We have a really sustainable organization, a really clear vision, and it’s in such a wonderful place.”

      Based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Pivot was founded by John Richardson in 2001. Over the years, its small team of ambitious lawyers has helped advance rights for marginalized groups such as sex workers, drug users, and the homeless, among others.