Taking action against racism

Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council

The Council provides advice on efforts to combat racism and promote more inclusive and accepting communities across Alberta.


The Council consists of up to 24 people who represent Alberta’s diverse communities. Two of the members serve as co-chairs.

The Council advises the minister on how to implement and evaluate action items to combat racism.

The Council typically meets 4 times a year.

Role and responsibilities

The Council provides 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

Recommendations report

The Alberta Anti-Racism Advisory Council has formally submitted their recommendations on addressing racism to the Government of Alberta.

Read the recommendations:

Council members

Mohamad Awada, Co-chair

Mohamad Awada is the West and North advisor for the office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. He formerly held several positions at the Centre for Newcomers in Calgary, an organization that helps newcomers integrate into life in Alberta and fosters a welcoming environment in Calgary. Over the past several years, his responsibilities at the organization included working as the cultural community associate, the volunteer lead refugee innovation project coordinator and the digital messaging manager for refugees and newcomers.

Mohamad moved to Calgary in 2013 and has been an active volunteer and advocate in the community for areas like children’s services, women in need, vulnerable refugees, newcomer populations, mental health, trauma and various crises.

Mohamad is a board member with the mid-Eastern-European diversity council with the Calgary police and is the current vice president of the Alberta Muslim Social Association and sits on the board of the Calgary Lebanese Association.

Mohamad has completed training with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as well as with the Rainbow Railway Foundation to strengthen his ability to support Calgary’s diverse community. He has a bachelor’s degree in visual communication in graphic design, a bachelor’s degree in general business from the Lebanese International University and has an immigration practitioner diploma from Bow Valley College. 

Mohamad is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Award for his volunteer and contributions to the Newcomers community in Alberta, been recognized for his work in Lebanon’s refugee camps by the Amel Association, and has received an honorary certificate from the Calgary Cultural Arab Festival acknowledging his contributions to the Muslim and Lebanese communities.

Chinaemerem Ogbonna, Co-chair

Chinaemerem Ogbonna supports the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism portfolio for the Edmonton Catholic School Division. The breadth of her professional experience over the last 20 years spans assessing and developing cooperative partnerships, shareholder engagement, advising on government relations; policy and program development. She is also experienced in managing client relationships and crises and has led and implemented proactive strategies and solution-focused interventions in a variety of industries such as health, education, immigrant services and employment. 

Chinaemerem is a thoughtful leader who is passionate about equity, diversity, inclusion, gender equality, volunteerism and the growth of women in business and leadership.  She serves as board chair for Black Canadian Women in Action (BCW) and is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.  

Dr. Stephen Akindipe

Dr. Stephen Akindipe is a family physician who works with Alberta Health Services in the delivery of quality health care to two designated rural communities of Coronation and Consort. Stephen currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Big Country Primary Care Network located in central Alberta. He also has Clinical faculty appointments at the departments of Family Medicine of the Universities of Alberta and Calgary.

Stephen is a Specialist Family Physician certified by the Royal College of General Practitioners of United Kingdom and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Celso Andrade

Celso Andrade is currently the president and general manager of Sunfreight Cargo International Edmonton Ltd., headquartered in Edmonton. Celso is also the Vice President and one of the founding partners of the Philippine Business Society of Alberta (PBSA). Celso is an awardee for GEM awards for business member of Beulah Alliance Church Intercultural MSC group and is also an awardee of Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Award for community service.  Celso is an active initiator for the Filipino Community Center in Edmonton.

Celso holds a degree in bachelor science in customs administration (BSCA) and associate degree in marine engineering from Philippine Maritime Institute (PMI).

Charles Anim Odame-Ankrah

Charles Anim Odame-Ankrah is a scientist who works with Global Analyzer Systems Ltd. to help oil and gas companies with their emissions reporting and auditing. Charles has board roles with minority communities with advocacy for diversity and inclusion. Charles is a public service volunteer with numerous workshops for at-risk youth in the community. He advocates against racial discrimination in African communities in Calgary. He is a founding member of the African Coalition in Calgary. Charles holds a PhD in chemistry from University of Calgary.

Ambreen Azim

Ambreen Azim is a lawyer practising in Calgary who works with KH Dunkley Law Group as their family law and child welfare lawyer. She has more than 13 years of litigation experience, including family law, child welfare, personal injury, criminal, appeal litigation and immigration law. She is actively involved in several community service organizations and has a wealth of understanding, experience and knowledge working with diverse cultures and communities. She holds an L.L.B honours degree from the University of Southampton School of Law.

Pamela Beebe

Pamela Beebe works for Calgary’s not-for-profit sector, where she has several years of experience. She is a member of the Kainai First Nation and is committed to the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2020, she was awarded the diversity and inclusion award from the University of Calgary in the staff category.

Pamela has a doctor of chiropractic from Life West Chiropractic College and a bachelor of science degree from McGill University.

Khaleel Bhatti

Khaleel Bhatti has volunteered for and chaired various committees and boards in the community services sector. This includes the South Asian community services society, the International Human Rights Commission, and the Pakistan-Canada Association in Calgary, where he prepared and distributed food hampers to families.

Khaleel works as a real estate specialist with Premier Realty Direct in Calgary. His education includes a business management diploma from Columbia College in Calgary, and a master of arts with a major in economics from the University of Punjab.

Fariborz Birjandian

For the past 26 years, Fariborz Birjandian has been the CEO of Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, the third largest immigrant serving agency in Canada. From the local level to international, Fariborz has served on many committees, boards and task forces related to immigration, refugees, diversity, equal rights and the cultural arts.

Sania Chaudhry

Sania Chaudhry is a lawyer at the Real Estate Council of Alberta, where she practices in administrative and regulatory law. She advances anti-racism and equity, diversity and inclusion as part of her work on a number of boards, committees and organizations serving the legal profession and has also published many articles on these topics.

She received a bachelor of arts in psychology and sociology in 2014 and a law degree with a social justice specialization in 2017 at the University of BC.

Bassam Fares

Bassam Fares has 21 years of experience working with the Muslim community in Edmonton in various roles with a number of organizations. His experience includes youth director with Alrashid Mosque, community centre manager with Mac Islamic Centre, vice-president with the Islamic family and social services association, board member with the Edmonton Council of Muslim communities, and board chair and police chief advisory committee member with Mac Islamic school. He has also taught at the Edmonton Islamic Academy.

Pauline Greenidge

Pauline Greenidge is a senior human resources professional and business owner who works with organizations and professionals as a workplace consultant, coach, speaker and facilitator. Pauline is a committee member of Higher Landing’s Grizzly Council of Alberta. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge and is a published author and instructor in Continuing Education at the University of Calgary. She is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and has been awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.

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), a masters in engineering management and is working towards a masters in business management.

Hyder Hassan

Hyder Hassan is the CEO of Immigrant Services Calgary, which provides a wide range of settlement services to immigrants and refugees looking to begin their lives in Canada. He is co-founder of Fullsoul Canada, a not-for-profit equipping hospitals in Uganda with medical supplies.

Hyder is a member of the Rotary Club of Calgary Fish Creek and chair of their vocational committee. He holds a bachelor of arts in management services from the University of Waterloo, a certificate in project management from York University and a certificate in finance from Yale.

Norman Poon

Norman Poon is currently the co-chair of Diversecities, an organization with more than 40 years of success in helping newcomers, vulnerable and visible minority Calgarians. He is the chief customer officer with BitWide, a Calgary-based fractional sales process company helping startups and SME companies to scale, with a special focus on assisting technology companies.

Norman is a chartered professional in human resources and holds a bachelor of commerce with distinction in human resources from the University of Alberta.

Abraham Silverman

Abraham Silverman has 50 years of experience in business, restaurants, automobiles and aviation. Abraham is currently the manager of public affairs with the non-profit of B’nai Birth Canada Alberta Region. Abraham has served as president or board member of 25 different non-profits and business associations over a period of about 50 years.

Sheetal Walsh

Sheetal Walsh is an executive with 25 years of innovation experience globally. She serves on several boards covering various stakeholders, including startups, agencies, universities and not for profits.

Sheetal has a masters in science in economics from the London School of Economics and a bachelor of arts from the University of Alberta. She has received several awards, including the alumni award of excellence from the University of Alberta and the women in business award from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

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 disclosure and nil report



Connect with council members, ask questions or provide comments:
Email: [email protected]