Asian Canadian History and the Anti-Racist Future

Asian Canadian History and the Anti-Racist Future: An Intergenerational Conversation between Mary Kitagawa and Nicole Yakashiro

In 2020, Keiko Mary Kitagawa, O.B.C., was granted an honorary degree from UBC for her longstanding work in the service of anti-racist activism, education, and social justice. At UBC, this has included her dedicated advocacy for the 76 Japanese Canadian students who had been unable to complete their education due to their forced removal and incarceration in 1942 – advocacy that ultimately led to the conferral of honorary undergraduate degrees to these students in 2012.
Bringing together Mary Kitagawa and Nicole Yakashiro, two Japanese Canadian activist-educators, this online event will honour Mary’s contributions through an intergenerational conversation about Japanese Canadian history, community, and anti-racist work. Organized in conjunction with ACAM 300: Asian Canadian Histories for Our Times, the event will consider the connections between past, present, and future injustices, and what we do about this. The event will end with a question and answer period moderated by Laura Ishiguro.
Mary Kitagawa is an educator and advocate for human rights who has helped dismantle society’s systems of racial apartheid and legalized discrimination, create a more inclusive and just world, and demonstrate it is never too late to make right a wrong. She was appointed to the Order of BC in 2018, and awarded an honorary degree from UBC in 2020, for her outstanding leadership and service in support of social justice and historical reconciliation.
Nicole Yakashiro is a PhD student in the Department of History at UBC, where her research examines histories of settler colonialism with a particular focus on non-Indigenous people of colour. As a yonsei (fourth generation) Japanese Canadian, she has also been active in a number of Japanese Canadian community organizations, including the Powell Street Festival Society’s Advocacy and Outreach committee.

*** Accessibility ***

  • This event will take place on, a video conferencing platform. No Zoom account is required to access the event, but participants will need to have access to on desktop or browser.
  • This event requires a working WiFi connection and may not be suitable for those with EMS (electromagnetic sensitivity).
  • During this event, sharing your video/audio is optional. Responses can be shared via video, audio, text, or a combination. Staff members will be available to monitor typed responses in the chat box.

*** Safety & Privacy ***

  • This event will not be recorded in any way. We ask participants to respect others’ privacy by refraining from recording any part of the event (e.g. via video, screen record, photography, screenshotting, etc) unless consent is requested and expressly given.
  • We do not use the attention-tracking feature on Zoom.
  • Only registered participants will receive the Zoom link, which will be released via email prior to the event.


* If you have questions or accessibility needs not listed here, please contact by Monday, October 26th *