picAnne & Jan, 2012

Anne Bishop

Anne Bishop discovered sexism when she noticed that professors didn't hear what she said in class. If a male student repeated the point, it suddenly became worthy of attention. Later she went public as a lesbian and discovered what it feels like to be spit at, threatened over the telephone, and told by complete strangers that you are going to hell. She also experienced the reassurance that allies can provide. At the same time as she was reflecting on her own oppression, Anne was becoming increasingly involved in anti-poverty and anti-racism work. This forced her to see herself in another way, as a member of an oppressor group. These contrasting experiences planted the seeds for this book.

Anne completed a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies in her early twenties. After twenty five years of life education, she completed a Masters degree two days before her fiftieth birthday. The road in between included travel and work across Canada, in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Iceland, Malta, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

In her mid-twenties, she spent a year at the Centre for Christian Studies in Toronto intending to become a Deaconess in the United Church of Canada. The Centre's radical and collective approach to education at the time changed her. She became a social activist and left the church. However, it was at the Centre for Christian Studies that she learned the social analysis and facilitation skills that formed the basis of her life's work.

Anne has had two "real jobs" -three years as coordinator of development education for Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO), and eleven years of teaching adult continuing education. This included an analysis and skill development program for leaders of low income and marginalized communities based on the course at the Centre for Christian Studies.

She now makes her living by taking freelance contracts in group facilitation, writing, editing, teaching, research and community development. She has also worked at various times as a camp counsellor and director, fishplant worker, grape picker, union organizer, dog walker, farm worker, seamstress, used clothing store manager, cooperative development officer, and restaurant hostess.

She lives on a small organic farm with her partner and an ever-changing menagerie of sheep, chickens, cats, a dog and a draft horse.


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