Welcome to my website
There are at least four published authors named Anne Bishop. I am not the one who writes fantasy fiction, nor the cookbook author, nor the one who writes nursing textbooks. I am the one who wrote Becoming an Ally. I made my living for more than forty years doing adult education and community development. My writing has always been something I do on the side, sometimes for fun, but most of my books grew out of my work and then circled back to become part of it. Most of my writing has been non-fiction, but in 2019 a long time dream came true with the publication of my first novel, Under the Bridge. Thank you for visiting. I hope you will be inspired to read the books.
Under the Bridge
“There are people who break open and make a new, bigger, self. But some of us are … brittle.”
When stress causes an old trauma to surface, Lucy, a longtime community organizer, teacher and anti- poverty activist, loses control of her life. On probation and living on the streets of Halifax’s North End, all she has left is friends. Faithful friends like Judith, her lawyer, who is helping her take back her life. Lucy begins to regularly sneak into Judith’s basement to take refuge from the cold, but Lucy’s presence in the house betrays their friendship, and she uncovers mysteries from Judith’s past. As events draw their lives closer, Lucy and Judith are forced to face the toll taken by their secrets. Each of them must choose between confronting past pain or remaining broken.
Becoming an Ally is a search for the origins of racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, and all other forms of oppression that divide us. The book examines history, economic and political structures, and individual psychology looking for the roots of discrimination. It attempts to answer such questions as: Has oppression always been with us, part of “human nature”? What does individual healing have to do with social justice? What does social justice have to do with individual healing? Why do members of the same oppressed group fight one another, sometimes more viciously than they fight their oppressors? Why do some who experience oppression develop a life-long commitment to fighting oppression, while others turn around and oppress others? What can we do to change oppression?
Beyond Token Change: Breaking the Cycle of Oppression in Institutions is the sequel to Becoming an Ally. In it, the author examines the patterns of oppression found in organizations and institutions. Using a case study as her starting point, she considers the nature of institutions beyond the “sum of parts” of the individuals that participate in them. She defines the difference between token change and transformation of institutional structure at a deeper level. She explores twentieth-century physics for clues about how large, complex entities like institutions change. Finally, she looks at the implications for the tactics we employ to achieve equity in our institutions. In particular, she proposes a method of focusing attention on the institution and its dynamics that goes beyond putting individuals within the institution “on trial” for discrimination.
Co-authored with Jeanne Fay
Grassroots Leaders Building Skills is a course designed to sharpen social analysis and develop skills in leaders of low income and marginalized communities. Taught by two experienced community workers and funded by two major Canadian foundations, it graduated 50 students over four years. Many joined the program’s advisory committee and helped the course evolve further. This book includes the complete course with agendas for 25 three-hour sessions, detailed directions for facilitators and handouts spiral-bound for photocopying. Many sessions can stand alone as workshoops on topics such as diversity, ideology, community development and building strategies for social change.
Between 1976 and 1994, I co-authored four books in my professional fields of adult education, community development and international development. All are now out of print, although one, The Land of Milk and Money, is available in its entirety on the FoodShare website.
The Land of Milk and Money was the report of the People’s Food Commission, a participatory inquiry into the Canadian food system involving more than 300 volunteers and funded by more than 100 non-government organizations. Hearings were held across Canada in 1979. The report was written by Commissioners Anne Bishop, Pat Kerans and Lucien Royer and translated into French by Commissioner Catherine Morrissette. It was published by Between-the-Lines in 1980.