Our
Team

The Centre for Race and Culture’s highly educated, experienced, and innovative team has decades of expertise helping organizations see the intrinsic value of living and working in a diverse environment.

Staff Members

We work closely with clients to gain insights into cultural issues and find practical solutions for workplaces, teams, and individuals.

 

 

Our non-profit, non-partisan status means we’re committed to neutrality while building understanding across all cultures and sectors.

 

Our staff and facilitators are a diverse and highly competent group from various sectors, including applied social science, education, international development, youth intervention, business, the arts, and health care. Our current staff members are:

Dulu Modi

Program Support

Dulu Modi

Program Support

Dulu (she/her) has over 10 years of dedicated experience in the non-profit sector, ranging from grassroots initiatives to governmental programming.  Armed with BAs in Sociology, specializing in Criminology and Psychology, Dulu brings a unique blend of academic knowledge and real-world expertise to her role at the Centre for Race and Culture. As a Lebanese-born, South Sudanese refugee, Dulu’s personal journey has deeply influenced her passion for community engagement and empowerment. Having spent most of her life in Edmonton, she is intimately connected to the city’s multicultural fabric and how African youth interact within it.

Throughout her career, Dulu has been a relentless advocate for the African community, channeling her efforts through various avenues, especially in empowering youth. Her work has encompassed front-line support, resource development, and innovative program creation. Notably, she has demonstrated her exceptional leadership skills in spearheading impactful youth initiatives. Among her notable projects are the YEGtheComeUp Conference, the South Sudanese Youth of Canada (SSYC), the Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association of Canada, and MacEwan’s African Caribbean Student’s Alliance. Her professional work centered around Program Delivery in the following organizations: Africa Centre, Nyarkenyi Development Foundation of AB, Service Canada Program Delivery, The Learning Centre Literacy Association, and Black Canadian Women in Action.

Dulu’s unwavering dedication to supporting and uplifting the African community has earned her a reputation as a compassionate and results-driven changemaker. Her commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion continues to drive positive change.

 

Marium Sheikh

Project Support

Marium Sheikh

Project Support

 

As Project Support for CFRAC’s Consulting Services, Marium works on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity projects for public and private sectors.

She’s an undergrad student at MacEwan University, where she is also working as a Research Assistant for the Linguistic Landscape Project that focuses on renaming Canadian municipal assets by including and representing Indigenous languages and cultures. In 2023, she attended the NMUN 2023 Conference in New York as a UNHCR Delegate, where she worked on a Resolution regarding protecting human refugees from human trafficking, which was been sent to the United Nations Body for consideration. She is also a Global Shaper for the World Economic Forum, a Young Champion for UNHCR, a Global Youth Community Member for UNESCO, and a Speaker for Plan International’s Speakers Bureau.

She is passionate about human rights, international relations, diplomacy, climate change, sustainability, equality, and social activism.

Barhet Woldemariam

Executive Director

Barhet Woldemariam

Executive Director

Barhet is a passionate builder of communities and relationships. She comes to CFRAC, after 5 years of service at HIV Edmonton, where she had the privilege of working with and supporting a team of passionate and compassionate people. She is thrilled to be joining the team and is excited to meet with and connect with the communities here.

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Mansoureh Modarres

Senior Consultant

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Mansoureh Modarres BA, MA, PhD

Senior Consultant

Mansoureh has been an educator and a researcher for over a decade and has worked in post-secondary sector and adult education as well as in the public sector and community engagement programs. Her academic work is focused on transnational feminisms, intersectionality, community and narrative studies, and storytelling. She has designed, developed, and facilitated numerous educational programs for diverse audiences, on topics such as diversity and inclusion, writing for academic purposes, and literary studies. She joined our team in January 2020 as a Project Consultant, developing the educational resource “Gender Inclusivity in the Workplace: A Practical Guide.” Mansoureh then took on the role of being the Education and Research Programs Consultant and coordinated our ongoing initiative “Challenging Discrimination through Community Conversations.” Currently, Mansoureh is our Senior Consultant. She is committed to raising awareness about social issues and fostering inclusive practices.

Board Members

The Board of Directors is the legal authority for CFRAC.

 

As a member of the Board, a Board Member acts in a position of trust for the community and is responsible for the effective governance of the organization.

 

Directors are elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. Directors serve for a 2-year term and for a maximum of 3 consecutive terms. The 2021-2022 Board of Directors for the Centre for Race and Culture is:

Parvin Sedighi

Director

Parvin Sedighi

Director

Parvin (she/her) is an Afghan immigrant to Canada and a settler on Treaty Six territory, and she has spent nearly two decades cultivating her connections to the land and the community we call Edmonton. As a racialized Muslim woman, Parvin aims to combine her lived experiences and her professional and academic expertise when doing anti-oppression and anti-racist work.  She is guided by the tireless work of black feminist thinkers like Bell Hooks, and by her desire for creating safer communities and enabling the success and thriving of racialized people.

She is a proud alumnus of MacEwan University, with an Honours Political Science B.A. and a background in political theory and philosophy. She combines her academic background and passion for education through her work in the post-secondary field, focusing on stakeholder and government relations, where she has worked in various capacities over the past five years.

When she’s not spending time with friends and family or tending to her dog Manny, Parvin can be found whipping up meals for the people she loves, getting worked up about video games, and making entirely too many Spotify playlists.

Leanne Adegbonmire

Director

Leanne Adegbonmire

Director

Leanne is a lifelong learner, researcher, and educator.  She is currently pursuing her PhD in Language and Literacies Education at OISE, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on supporting educators with implementing linguistically and culturally responsive pedagogy through equitable resources in STEM education. In addition to her studies, Leanne also serves as a Grants Liaison at the Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association (ECALA).

Leanne’s background is in language teaching both in Canada and Chile, and her passion for education expands to digital literacy, technology, and communication. She holds a BA in Intercultural Communication and an MA in Spanish. A common thread through her professional and personal life is a desire to connect with others through stories and shared experiences. Leanne loves hosting dinner parties, cycling, horseback riding, and traveling the world with her husband.

Nicole Eltom

Director

Nicole Eltom

Director

Nicole Eltom, Vice-president of Customer Success at TELUS, is an accomplished leader with 30 years of experience in sales, relationship management and business development. Nicole holds a diploma in Sales and Marketing Management from UBC’s Sauder School of Business and is certified in Pragmatic Marketing, and Business Relationship Management (CBRM®).

Nicole leads a national team within TELUS Business Solutions that is focused on partnering with customers to understand their unique business priorities and to maximize the lifetime value of their services with TELUS to drive EBITDA growth and customer retention.

Nicole is passionate about her team, and through her authentic and collaborative leadership, she’s fostered a best-in-class team culture that is propelled by integrity, innovation and spirited teamwork. Nicole is a strong advocate for mental and physical well-being and is the Executive Sponsor for TELUS Business Solutions’ Health and Wellness program.

In her free time, Nicole enjoys an active lifestyle, travelling with her family and competing in endurance races. Nicole is passionate about connection, coaching and empowering others. She believes providing value and giving back is an important part of a fully balanced life and has volunteered locally in her community in many capacities over the years.

Shalina Naidu

Director

Shalina Naidu

Director

Shalina completed her Bachelor of Commerce at MacEwan University with a major in Accounting and a minor in Business Intelligence. She continues to pursue her curiosity for Data and Analytics through her role at Aritzia as an Associate Data Visualization Engineer.

Shalina is passionate about working with others to learn and achieve greater goals.

She is grateful for her time as a staff member at CFRAC and is excited to continue her work as a Board Member.

Yvette Yakibonge

Director

Yvette Yakibonge, BA

Director

As the child of parents who immigrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Yvette has always had a heart for helping immigrant communities in Canada, primarily through empowering youth and women. Yvette has been involved in her community as a volunteer from a young age, particularly for Alliance-Jeunesse-Famille de L’Alberta Society (AJFAS), an organization committed to empowering francophone immigrant families in Edmonton. Yvette was also selected as a member of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s Youth Advisory Group. For over two years, she collaborated with other young Canadians on issues concerning youth in Canada, providing recommendations, and developing new initiatives. Yvette holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Studies. She has worked as a Public Servant for the Ministry of Economic and Social Development Canada. Yvette is currently employed at the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Samantha Louie-Poon

Samantha Louie-Poon

Vice Chair

Samantha Louie-Poon

Samantha Louie-Poon

Vice Chair

Samantha is a nurse, researcher, outdoor enthusiast, and an anti-racism advocate. She is passionate about social activism, promoting justice, and building community capacity, and was fascinated by the mobilization of practical, relevant, and resourceful community awareness provided by CFRAC. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) and has worked as a pediatric nurse.

Currently, Samantha is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Samantha’s research work is geared towards addressing the gap between child health knowledge translation practices and health equity. Specifically, Samantha will be addressing racism in the healthcare sector by seeking impactful solutions that integrate anti-racism as a key commitment in the provision of nursing care. Outside of her professional role, Samantha enjoys responsible travelling, hiking, photography, and trying new foods.

Aemon Ishfaq

Aemon Ishfaq

Secretary

Aemon Ishfaq

Aemon Ishfaq

Secretary

An urban enthusiast, adventurer and food junkie, Aemon is an outgoing, and driven young professional who loves working with others as a means of exchanging ideas and knowledge. She graduated with an Honors Bachelor majoring in Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies, and Early Modern History, with experience working with Canada Border Services Agency and Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada under her belt.

A life-long learner, Aemon’s keen interest in politics, social justice and human rights issues has led to her involvement with several not-for-profit organizations in Toronto helping marginalized communities, women’s groups, and vulnerable populations, as well as building awareness of civil liberties. Aemon is excited to bring her experience to CFRAC, to educate and promote anti-racism ideas and build an inclusive and diverse society.

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Rickard Enstroem

Treasurer

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Rickard Enstroem

Treasurer

Rickard is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Decision Sciences in the School of Business at MacEwan University. In this role, he oversees the B.Com. Major in Supply Chain Management and has also led the development of a new Minor in Business Intelligence/Data Analytics. He holds a PhD from the University of Alberta, Canada, M.Sc. (Eng.) and B.Sc. from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden, along with studies in Economics conducted at Stockholm University, Sweden.

Apart from an interest in the Built Environment, his research interests revolve around Leadership Development and Consumer Behaviour and the use of statistical modeling to measure those behavioural outcomes and preferences. He taught at universities in Europe and Canada and was a Visiting Research Fellow at Uppsala University, Sweden. He is the current Vice-Chair of the Canadian Initiative for Nordic Studies at the University of Alberta, an organization with a national mandate to advance the multidisciplinary academic and cultural exchanges between Canada and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. He holds the professional designation of Chartered Manager (C.Mgr.) from CIM Chartered Managers Canada©.

Youssra Badr

Youssra Badr

Director

Youssra Badr

Youssra Badr

Director

Youssra was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, with a double major in Psychology and Sociology, a Bachelor of Education, as well as a Masters in Theoretical, Cultural, and International Studies from the University of Alberta. Her professional experiences include front line mental health services at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, youth support work with non-profit human service organizations, as well as 10+ years serving learners as an educator with the Edmonton Public School Board.

Currently, Youssra works as an ESL Consultant, supporting educators, and English Language Learners. She is an advocate for diversity in her professional and personal life.  Aside from her husband and four children, Youssra’s greatest commitment is supporting students and educators.

Vivian Kwan

Chair

Vivian Kwan

Chair

Vivian is a coffee connoisseur and a vocal mental health advocate in the greater community. Her passion for health and wellness has inspired her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and Psychology, and now a Master’s in Public Health.

Over the years, she has worked with non-profit organizations and public institutions in various capacities. At an international level, she has been affiliated and worked with organizations such as UN Women and the World Economic Forum. As a woman of color with a strong interest in policy and health, Vivian has always been actively participating in discussions on the challenges faced by the ethnic communities in Edmonton. She was initially intrigued by the work done by the Centre for Race and Culture in the areas of education and awareness. After having the opportunity to learn more about the organization and interact with their members, Vivian was eager to be a part of the cause.

Currently, she works as the Planning and Engaging Coordinator with Homeward Trust Edmonton, working in collaboration with all levels of government and community agencies to eradicate homelessness in the city. In the long term, she hopes to continue her involvement and career journey in the public sector.

Contractors

CFRAC works with a group of contracted facilitators to deliver different training programs.

 

Our contracted facilitators bring of range of expertise to our team.

 

Our current contractors include:

  • Litzy Baeza, BA, MA
  • Sahar Charradi, BA
  • Noelle Jaipaul, BA, MSc, MA