Inheriting Resistance: Interview with Lily Shinde

Posted by admin on Aug 21st, 2012

Come to the Midlaunch of the Inheriting Resistance Project on Aug 30

No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories presents an interview with Lily Shinde as part of “Inheriting Resistance: A Community History Project”.

Lily Yuriko Shinde is a 64 year old Japanese Canadian lesbian, storyteller and anti-racism educator and a long time political activist living in Vancouver. She was one of the founding members of the first Third World Womens group and Women of Colour group in Vancouver. She has been involved with the Japanese Canadian politics, taught a course she created called Feminist English in Osaka, Japan and played softball for the first lesbian of colour team in the Mabel league for several years. She is currently a member of the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens Human Rights Committee.


In the 1980’s, the Unlearning Racism Workshops became quite popular in those days. So that is when I met a lot of people of colour, and in particular mostly women of colour because those are the workshops that I attended.

And that was just so exciting for me. I was so happy, I couldn’t believe it. I thought “Now I am home. Now I belong somewhere. Now I have people that inspire me and people who empower me.”

So I met a lot of good people, you know, like really I felt my heart felt, I thought I found my home.

Then we started the first – I guess probably the first – Third World Women’s Group in Vancouver. And there were people like Lee Maracle, Carolyn Jerome, Linda Ng, just to name a few people. That was really exciting times. They were pretty serious, I was kinda nervous. I was a kid from the country, you know, didn’t think I knew anything about politics. We would get together and they would give me full sheets and we would study about Marxism, Lenninism, Communism, Mao, Black Panthers, everything. And I am thinking “how am I going to learn all this”.

It was fantastic. But it wasn’t without problems. I wouldn’t say problems, but issues. We had issues. And we had issues because there issues of classism in the group. There was issues of sexual orientation, there were issues about ableism. We actually had to keep on reminding ourselves that the end goal is that we all have to stick together, we have to fight against this white system

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