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Defenders for Human Rights

Other Human Rights Defenders

The purpose of Speak Truth to Power Canada is to share the personal journeys of some of the many Canadian human rights defenders working today. As lesson plans are thematic and many Canadians assume the responsibility to advance human rights, every lesson plan also includes community-based defenders. It is hoped that your students may be inspired to identify themselves as human rights defenders and take positive action to support human rights in their own life and community. Perhaps your students will become community defenders themselves.

Greg Masuda

Greg Masuda is a Japanese-Canadian filmmaker and photographer with a strong focus on displacement and dispossession, particularly in Japanese-Canadian history. His first major venture into the topic was a photography project called Dispossession, which he created with guidance and inspiration from fellow activist Lily Shinde. After the project received local attention and installation, his focus grew to producing a short documentary following the Japanese-Canadian story from internment to now. Featuring an interview with Arthur Miki, Children of Redress aired on the Knowledge Network in 2014. Masuda is now working on a multimedia project to display the Japanese Canadian community’s cultural history in Vancouver.

  • Equality and Redress

Lily Shinde

Often the victim of race-based bullying as a child, Japanese-Canadian Lily Shinde grew into strong beliefs in the rights of women of colour. With activism and speaking engagements spreading back to the 1980s, including the foundation of Third World Women’s and Women of Colour groups in Vancouver, Shinde is now a frequently sought guide for Japanese-Canadian issues. She has been involved with Japanese-Canadian politics and taught an original Feminist English course in Japan. Her focus is now more specifically on discrimination-based living issues, tracking ongoing displacement in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and finding solidarity with the Coast Salish peoples.

  • Truth and Reconciliation
  • Equality and Redress
  • Human Dignity

Paul Winn

Since the early 1980s, Paul Winn has been an effective activist in the fight against racism in Canadian society. A former civil servant with the BC government and a former broadcaster with the CBC, Winn has assisted countless governmental departments and agencies to design and implement non-racist procedures and strategies for the implementation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act and for affirmative action. He has also assisted police forces with race relations policies, and through his work with the CBC, trained visible minority writers in the development of scripts for TV dramas. Holding a Bachelor of Law from UBC, Winn has received numerous accolades due to his continued involvement in Canadian cultural organizations.
  • Equality and Redress