West Coast LEAF: Using our stories to create a new future

By Kerry Sauriol, Marketing Coordinator

I am one of the new “kids” here, and part of my role is to understand not just the excellent services that Reportex provides the legal community but also why. It’s important that I understand what drives the people here and what is important to them. Thus I was honoured and excited to represent Reportex at the 2021 Breakfast for Dinner virtual event hosted by West Coast LEAF on the evening of March 23rd.

I haven’t attended a lot of virtual events, so I found the whole process fascinating and was in awe to be online with almost 400 women and men who were showing their support of this organization and the work they do. The words of Raji Mangat, executive director of West Coast LEAF, were enough to convince me I was in the company of amazing and inspiring people who feel the same way about equality, injustice, and fighting for a better world, especially when she said:

“We know that returning to what was ‘normal’ is neither possible nor is it desirable. … It wasn’t good enough then, and it isn’t good enough now.”

And that is why the (R)evolution concept here at Reportex resonates so well with me: moving forward, seeing new opportunities and new ways to do better and be better.

Gloria Macarenko led an amazing panel discussion that included El Jones, Jules Arita Koostachin and Kali Spitzer that revolved around the concept storytelling that they do through film, poetry, writing and photography. They spoke of how they used their mediums to weave a new future based on the histories (therestories) of us all, using that past experience to teach us all how to reframe the so-called “norms” that have shaped our culture and society for good and, tragically, for bad.

In her opening speech Gloria read a quote from Arundhati Roy. However, I think another section of that essay fits the way we need to move forward politically, economically and culturally:

“Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to ‘normality’, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.”

The way forward for us all is in change and innovation. The way forward for us all means taking all that is good and giving space for that to grow into something better than what existed before. Reportex, believes that.

That is why we focus on our values of team, mentorship, equality, community, and industry. This is why we are excited about our new space that has been created downtown to serve our community. We can’t wait for you to see it. Reportex keeps looking for new ways to build upon our services not just to the legal community but to the community that we work and live with, and that is why I am excited to be part of this team we look to the future.

If you want to learn more about what West Coast LEAF does, do visit their website and donate if you can.