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BC Civil Liberties Association Announces New Executive Director

Press Release

January 17, 2023

Vancouver, BC (Unceded Coast Salish Territories) – The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) announced today the appointment of its new Executive Director, Joanne Macri.

Joanne has dedicated her career to defending and protecting the human rights and civil liberties of those who are enmeshed within the immigration, criminal justice, or civil court system. Prior to joining the BCCLA, Joanne served as the Executive Director of the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy in Vancouver, where she engaged in promoting democracy, human rights, and good governance in criminal law and the administration of criminal justice – domestically, regionally, and globally.

Joanne has also spent more than a decade dedicated to improving the quality of mandated criminal defence legal services while serving as the Statewide Chief Implementation Attorney and Regional Initiatives Director of the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services. Her work in New York included developing the first state-funded network of Regional Immigration Assistance Centers in the country designed to support those in need of quality legal representation in criminal, family, and immigration court matters. Motivated to address abuses of those in detention, Joanne collaborated closely with clients and their families on addressing conditions of arrest and confinement while acting as the Director of the Criminal Defense Immigration Project and the Immigrant Defense Project of the New York State Defenders Association, as well as the Managing Attorney for Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York.

Joanne’s extensive background in U.S. and international human rights law, her long-time commitment to criminal justice reform and her passion for working with immigrant communities provide a unique perspective to supporting the BCCLA’s mandate. Her leadership will guide the organization as it continues to address many human rights and civil liberties issues, including police accountability, Indigenous rights, migrant rights, criminal justice and administration of justice reform, privacy rights, freedom of expression, equality rights, national security and surveillance, and prisoners’ rights.

“Joanne is a seasoned leader and advocate for rights-seeking and marginalized groups with a successful track record that goes back over 20 years,” said Karen Mirsky, President of the Board of Directors. “I look forward to working with her as we expand human rights and civil liberties in a country at the crux of deep social and political change.”

“I am excited by the news of Joanne taking on the role of Executive Director of the BCCLA,” added Hasan Alam, a long-serving board member of the BCCLA’s Executive Committee. “I believe that Joanne’s experience in representing marginalized communities will greatly assist her in working alongside BCCLA staff in advancing our mandate of protecting the civil liberties of all peoples living on these occupied territories regardless of their race, gender or status.”

“I am honoured and grateful to have the opportunity to join such a vital organization supported by a resolute and dedicated staff, Board, pro-bono lawyers, funders and network of community partners, each devoted to promoting, defending, preserving and extending civil liberties and human rights,” said Macri. “Together, we will continue our ongoing commitment to protecting the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights entitled to all members of our community in British Columbia and across Canada.”

Attachment:

  1. Photo: Joanne Macri

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