Congratulations to Mary Kitagawa!

The Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies Program (ACAM) and the Asian Canadian Community Engagement Initiative (ACCE) are delighted to congratulate Keiko Mary Kitagawa on the occasion of being awarded an Honorary Degree from UBC. As an advocate for human rights and racial justice, Mary is widely admired for her tireless efforts to preserve histories of racism in Canada, including the wartime uprooting, dispersal, and incarceration of Japanese Canadians that she personally experienced as a child. At UBC, she is perhaps best known for leading a successful campaign to recognize the 76 Japanese Canadian students who were forcibly removed from the University at the start of the Second World War. After these students were awarded honorary degrees in 2012, ACAM and ACCE were established to advance UBC’s engagement with Asian Canadian communities. Along with her husband Tosh, Mary has mentored numerous students, staff, and faculty over the years and continues to take an active role in anti-racist education. In 2018, she was appointed to the Order of British Columbia.

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic makes it impossible to celebrate Mary’s Honorary Degree in person at the moment, her commitments continue to inform our work during these challenging times. This fall, ACAM will be offering a new course on Asian Canadian history taught by Professor Laura Ishiguro, which will build on Mary’s work as an educator and activist. We look forward to sharing more of her accomplishments with the UBC community in the months to come.