Overview

The Anti-Racism Advisory Council will represent Alberta’s diverse community and have a voice in implementing the action items outlined in the Taking Action Against Racism plan that was released in June 2018.

Read the plan:

Establishing the council is one of the first steps in implementing the action plan.

Role and responsibilities

The council consists of 24 people selected through a public recruiting process. Two of the members will serve as co-chairs alongside the Minister of Education.

The council will advise the minister on how to implement and evaluate the action items to combat racism.

The council will provide advice on ways to:

  • remove systemic barriers to accessing government programs and services
  • remove language barriers in accessing information
  • educate and inform Albertans to encourage acceptance and prevent future racism
  • connect with law enforcement agencies and communities to raise awareness and assist local collaboration across Alberta
  • identify strategies and actions to combat racism

Council members

Heather A. Campbell, Co-Chair

Heather Campbell is a procurement manager with the Alberta Electric System Operator supporting the commercial business unit. She is also a practicing licensed professional engineer in Alberta, and holds a bachelor of engineering science degree in biochemical and chemical engineering from the University of Western Ontario and a master of laws in energy law and policy from the University of Dundee.

Heather is a member of the advisory council for Western Engineering, sits as vice-president of the board of directors of Downstage Theatre and is a board member of Calgary’s performing arts centre, Arts Commons.

Lucenia Ortiz, Co-Chair

Lucenia Ortiz is a planner II with the City of Edmonton’s Citizen Services, developing policies and strategies as they relate to social development in the city. Lucenia is also a founding member of the Edmonton Multicultural Coalition and a member of the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op.

She is a recipient of the Doris Badir Research Award and holds a PhD in human ecology from the University of Alberta.

Shan Ali

Shan Ali is the owner and publisher of Express Media Network Ltd. where he launched Weekly Canadian Express, one of Western Canada’s largest South Asian newspapers, covering Calgary and Edmonton. Shan has been editor of South Asian Xpress Magazine and hosts the popular radio show “Sangeet Studio” for Albertans of South Asian origin. Shan is a board member for the Asian Heritage Foundation and the South Asian Canadian Seniors Society.

Shan was awarded the South Asian Canadian Anchor of the Year from the South Asian Arts & Cultural Association of Alberta and has been recognized for his volunteerism by the Pakistan Canada Association and the Cancer Education Research Foundation. Shan holds a bachelor of law and masters degree in business and economics.

Sonia Aujla-Bhullar

Sonia Aujla-Bhullar is a public school teacher in Calgary and a PhD candidate in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her current work centres on exploring multiethnic and multicultural community engagement within schools as part of present day inclusive education measures. Her work with community organizations includes working with local and national initiatives within the Sikh community. She is also a member of the South Asian Police Advisory Committee for the Calgary Police Service.

Melodie Bastien

Melodie Bastien is the North Star parent connector at Opokaasin Early Intervention Society in Lethbridge, where she provides one-on-one support, wrap-around resources and cultural programming for families. Melodie participates in the Blackfoot Traditional way of life within the Blackfoot Confederacy.

Melodie holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Lethbridge and is currently working on her Indigenous bachelor of social work at Red Crow College.

Iman Bukhari

Iman Bukhari is a multimedia professional working as a planner of Channel Management for the City of Calgary. Iman is also an adjunct professor at Columbia College, teaching human rights and diversity courses. Iman is the founder and CEO of the Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation. In this role, Iman led the organization to win 2 separate community advocacy awards. Iman is the recipient of the Community Leadership award from the Sarb Akal Music Society of Calgary and the Top 30 Under 30 award from the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation.

Iman holds a master of arts in multimedia communications from the Academy of Art University.

Yic Camara

Yic Camara is an integration and community liaison agent with Centre d’accueil et d’établissement of Northern Alberta. Yic establishes and maintains contact with French multicultural communities in Edmonton, providing support for integration efforts and building networks between individuals and the community. Yic has been involved in the Guinean community as a student in Bordeaux, France, and in Edmonton. Yic currently sits on the Board of Directors Institut Guy-Lacombe de la Famille (Parent Link Centre) in Edmonton.

Yic holds master degrees in international law and in public and health law from the University of Bordeaux IV, France.

Nadine Eagle Child

Nadine Eagle Child is the new student counsellor at Red Crow Community College where she supports First Nation student success through navigation, organization, academic and personal support. She is an executive member of the Apiistamiiks – White Buffalo Trail Blazers, a grassroots group fighting against racism, hate and discrimination in Southern Alberta. She has also served as co-chair of the Employment and Education subcommittee with the City of Lethbridge’s Interagency Group and chair of the Student Success and Retention working group under the Iniskim Education Committee at the University of Lethbridge.

Nadine has a degree in native american studies, a management certificate in Business Enterprises and Self-Governing Systems and is currently in her final semester of an Indigenous bachelor of social work degree with Red Crow Community College on the Blood Reserve.

Michael Embaie

Michael Embaie is a practicing licensed immigration consultant in Canada. He has volunteered with not-for-profit local, provincial, national and international organizations for over 25 years, including as president and board member for the Southern Alberta Heritage Language Association and as founding member and president of the African Community Association of Calgary. Michael is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Immigrant of Distinction Award, the Black Achievement Award and the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada Medal.

Michael holds bachelor and master degree in social work, with a specialization in policy and international social work from the University of Calgary.

Sithara Fernando

Sithara Fernando is a community-based environmental monitoring instructor at Keyano College, working to empower individuals in Indigenous communities. In this role, Sithara develops curriculum that braids both western science and Indigenous knowledge and teaches the program in northern communities. Previously, Sithara served as the secretary and chair of the governance committee for the Pride Centre of Edmonton and the vice-chair of Some Other Solutions crisis prevention centre. Sithara is a recipient of the Top 50 under 50 Award from Your McMurray Magazine and the Council Commendation Medal for Service during the first 100 hours of the Fort McMurray Wildfire. Sithara is a registered professional forester in the Province of Alberta and a mental health advocate.

Sithara holds a BSc in forestry from the University of Alberta and a MBA from the University of Fredericton.

Nahla Gomaa

Nahla Gomaa is an associate clinical professor, researcher and educator at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta. She has been serving as the Interfaith Portfolio Chair in the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities for 4 years, and has built bridges with a number of interfaith organizations in Alberta. She has been contributing yearly in the city commemoration of Remembrance Day, and has organized the Islamic history month at city hall each year.

Nahla is a graduate of the “Gold College of Leadership” at the University of Alberta. She has obtained her fellowship in the U.S. and has been teaching as a visiting faculty member at a number of international universities.

Adil Zaki Hasan

Adil Zaki Hasan is the vice-president and chief operations officer at Hasco Development Corporation, leading multi-million dollar project development and delivery. Adil is active in the community, including in roles as vice-president, Civic Engagement for the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council and board member for Al Mustafa Academy and Humanitarian Society.

Adil holds a BSc in electrical engineering (biomedical) and a masters in engineering management and is working towards a masters in business management.

Zahro Hassan

Zahro Hassan is a doctoral student at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on young adult refugees and access to postsecondary education. She has extensive community and youth development experience within several multiracial/multicultural immigrant communities in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton.

Zahro is currently board director at the Edmonton Social Planning Council and former support staff for the Toronto District School Board Task Force on the Success of Students of Somali Descent. Zahro is multilingual in English, Somali and conversational Arabic.

Abdulghani Haymour

Abdulghani Haymour is a business manager who works closely with the Canadian Arab Friendship Association (CAFA) to assist community members in areas such as filing government documents and accessing government resources, as well as event facilitating.

Abdulghani is certified in intercultural communication skills from Bond University and recently completed his bachelor of laws LL.B., from Bond University in Australia.

Bernadette Iahtail

Bernadette Iahtail is co-founder and executive director of Creating Hope Society, a society founded for the survivors of the “The Sixties and Seventies Scoop of Aboriginal Children in Care”. Bernadette is an active member of Edmonton Coalition for Human Rights, Aboriginal coalitions, the Edmonton Aboriginal Leadership Team and Stony Plain Wapekin Leadership Team. Bernadette is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2015 John Humphrey Centre Gerald L. Gall Award for Peace and Human Rights, the 2018 Diversity Award “Friends of Diversity” and the 2018 Star Blanket Award from Stony Plain Child and Family Services. Bernadette’s 60’s child welfare scoop life documentary is in the Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Bernadette holds a social work diploma from UNBC as well as many certificates including Indigenous Leadership certificates from the Banff Centre.

Adebayo Katiiti

Adebayo Katiiti is the founder and president of RARICAnow, an organization for all LGBTQ refugees in Canada. Adebayo advocates for the rights of refugees by creating awareness of their existence in Canada. He works to ensure that newcomers and refugees learn Canadian culture and get support in navigating the refugee and settlement process. Adebayo is passionate about addressing the challenges around refugees and newcomers in the LGBTQ community that are left untouched and ignored. He hopes that one day all will be well, preaching to the world that every single life matters regardless of the differences.

Feisal Kirumira

Feisal Kirumira is special advisor of international student affairs to the Dean at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. Feisal provides academic support to full-time international and bridging program students, as well as planning and implementing international student programming and advising the Dean on strategies to improve the academic performance and social integration of international students. Feisal leads workshops on anti-racism education and inclusion for students and staff at Augustana.

He participates on the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Working Group and the International Week planning committee at Augustana Campus. Feisal is currently working towards a PhD in postsecondary education at the University of Alberta.

Omar Najmeddine

Omar Najmeddine is the executive director of the Al Rashid Group and leads all corporate functions for the organization. He is a board member with the American University of Beirut Alumni Foundation and a former board member with the Red Cross, and Community Interest Companies Association.

Omar holds a bachelor degree in nutrition and food science from the American University of Beirut and an MBA from the Lebanese American University. Omar is currently pursuing his PhD in finance and his Chartered Professional Accountant designation.

Roy Pogorzelski

Roy Pogorzelski is the director of Indigenous Student Affairs at the University of Lethbridge where he is also an instructor for the Dhillon School of Business. Roy is very involved in the community as a member of the University of Lethbridge senate, board member with the YMCA Lethbridge, president of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Mosaic and member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce. Roy is also an appointed director for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) and sits as the CRRF advisor to the National Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination committee. Roy has received a Human Rights Champion Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, a Friends of Diversity Award from Diversity Magazine in Calgary, and was named the overall winner of the Top 40 under 40 by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce.

Roy holds a bachelor of arts in Indigenous studies, a bachelor of human justice from the University of Regina and a masters of science in cultures and development studies from the Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven in Belgium.

Tasneem Rahim

Tasneem Rahim is the director of Fund Development and Alumni Engagement at Bow Valley College, responsible for developing and implementing fundraising priorities and strategies for Bow Valley College’s institutional fundraising program. Rahim serves as member, Community Relations on the Aga Khan Council for the prairies and is the communications member of the Management Committee for Generations: Multi-Generational Housing and Community Centre Campus Calgary.

Tasneem was a member of the Leadership Calgary program and a member of the 2007 Class of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40. Tasneem holds a bachelor of arts in communications and culture from the University of Calgary.

Judy Shapiro

Judy Shapiro is a member of the Calgary Interfaith Council and a regular volunteer at the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. She has also served as a board member for the Calgary Council of Christians and Jews and the Committee on Race Relations and Cross-Cultural Understanding.

She recently retired from her position as the associate executive director of the Calgary Jewish Federation where she oversaw all of its programming areas.

Pavit Sidhu

Pavit Sidhu is a WiseGuyz program facilitator and sexual health educator at Centre for Sexuality in Calgary. His work focuses on engaging ethno-cultural and newcomer populations and involves collaboration with organizations including the Center for Newcomers, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association and Indigenous Initiatives at the Boys & Girls Club of Calgary.

Pavit served as a member of the University of Calgary senate in 2013 and as an appointee of the Students’ Union representing the undergraduate student body.

Delainah Velichka

Delainah Velichka is a school board trustee with Peace River School Division #10. Delainah’s portfolios include Administrators’ Association, Teacher Board Advisory Committee, Transportation Liaison Committee, Audit Committee, ASBA Second Language Taskforce, Clear Hills Trades Training, Council of School Councils Liaison Committee, Discipline Committee and the First Nations, Metis & Inuit Liaison Committee. Delainah has previously worked as an educational assistant, supporting students with behavioural and learning challenges.

Delainah holds certificates in native awareness and special needs tools from Bow Valley College.

Teresa Woo-Paw

Teresa Woo-Paw is owner and principle of Teresa Woo-Paw & Associates Ltd. Teresa was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 2008 to 2015, and was the associate minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations from 2012 to 2015. Teresa is a member of the board of directors for the Calgary Arts Foundation, chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, board president of the Action Chinese Canadians Together Foundation and is a founding member and current co-chair of the Asian Heritage Foundation. Teresa received numerous awards, including the Chinese Canadian Legend Award, the Queen Elizabeth’s 60th Jubilee Award, the Queen's Jubilee Award – Multiculturalism & Community Services and the Alberta Centennial Medal.

Teresa holds a bachelor of social work degree from the University of Calgary.

Compensation disclosure

Public sector bodies are required to post online the names and compensation paid to:

This is a requirement under the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act. The postings are required by June 30 each year and will be maintained for 5 years.

Compensation nil report

There were no members of the council who received any amount of compensation, severance and non-monetary benefits in 2018. Therefore, a Nil Report is required.

News

Contact

To connect with council members, ask questions or provide comments, contact combatracism@gov.ab.ca.