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. We work closely with clients to gain insights into cultural issues and find practical solutions for workplaces, teams and individuals. Our non-profit, non-denominational, non-partisan status means we’re committed to neutrality while building understanding across all cultures and all sectors.

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

Team Members

Elli Dehnavi

Executive Director



(780) 425-4644

Holding a PhD in Cultural Studies, Elli Dehnavi is a university teacher, storyteller, and public educator, who has has been actively engaged in the community to raise awareness about interpersonal and systemic discrimination. She has developed adult education resources, coordinated training programs, and managed research and community-based projects. Elli joined CFRAC in 2017 as a Project Consultant and coordinated two main projects: Race and Respect, and Refugee Awareness Alberta. She then served as our Senior Consultant for a year and supervised the work of other researchers and consultants. Elli has designed and delivered courses and educational workshops on intercultural communication, EDI,  Implicit Bias, Creating Inclusive Communities, and gender equity.

Now in her new role as the Executive Director, Elli is committed to building equitable relationships in line with CFRAC’s vision and mission.

Eugene Chok




(780) 425-4644

After completing his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the Texas Tech University, Eugene immigrated to Canada in search of the good life and an opportunity to develop his skills in the field of accountancy. From 1980 to 2000, he worked as an accountant in both industry and government organizations. Along the way, he picked up a professional Accountancy Designation with the Certified General Accountant Association of Alberta. In 2000, he accepted an offer to work as an accountant with The Alberta Lung Association and has continued working in the non-profit sector since. He admires the strong commitment that NGO workers hold toward their cause and plans to finish his career in this sector. In his spare time, he teaches Tai Chi Chuan to seniors at the Chinese Freemason Association in Edmonton.

Ashima Sumaru-Jurf

Associate Consultant



(780) 425-4644

Ashima Sumaru-Jurf has facilitated, coordinated and managed programs related to immigration and migration, adult education, and human resources in the not-for-profit and government sectors. She has worked with communities throughout Alberta to build partnerships around creating inclusive and equitable communities.

Ashima is a self-described “teacher-learner” who is interested in connecting academic research and business knowledge with community and workplace practices. She is passionate about creating education, training and programs that bring together multiple forms of knowledge and assisting communities, organizations and individuals to develop their own strengths-based solutions to the issues they face.

Reuben Quinn

Program Coordinator


(780) 425-4644

Reuben Quinn is the Coordinator for our Nehiyaw Language Instruction program. Reuben has been working with Aboriginal youth and adults within Edmonton for 16 years. He has been a Cultural coordinator and Cree instructor for Edmonton Public Schools, Mother Earth Children’s Charter School, as well as the Edmonton Young Offender Center.
Reuben grew up in the residential school era and when the Blue Quills School was taken over by the Aboriginal community, there was a resurgence of language and cultural teachings. Reuben credits the late Mrs. Rosanna Houle for reviving the Nehiyaw (Cree) Cahkipeyihkanah and teaching it to all the students who had been liberated from residential school. The Nehiyaw Cahkipeyihkanah, or as some refer to it ’the Star Chart’, is a tool Reuben uses for teaching the Cree language.

Rose-Eva Forgues-Jenkins

Projects Assistant/Public Educator



(780) 425-4644

Rose-Eva Forgues-Jenkins first joined the Centre for Race and Culture in the role of Podcast Production Coordinator. In this role, she hosted and produced the Unheard Youth podcast which highlights the voices of newcomer youth across Canada. After the successful completion of the Unheard Youth podcast, Rose-Eva has now taken on the role of Projects Assistant/Public Educator. As part of the team for the Understanding Newcomer Experiences of Inclusion research project she is looking forward to deepening her understanding of newcomer experiences in Alberta. Rose-Eva is also a Public Educator where she designs and facilitates workshops for various groups and members of the community. In her spare time, Rose-Eva volunteers for local community radio station CJSR 88.5 FM where she is able to share her passion for gender equality as a producer for NCRA award-winning radio program, Adamant Eve.


Myriam Gerber

Research Coordinator

B.A., M.A.



Myriam is currently completing her PhD degree at Concordia University, Montreal, in History with a focus on Holocaust education. She completed her BA and MA at the University of Victoria, BC, and also holds a Graduate Professional Certificate (GPC) in Cultural Heritage Studies. She has been involved as a docent at the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre and the Montreal Holocaust Museum. Myriam has over ten years experience in conducting community-based research, as well as a facilitator and educator. Being of German descend, she takes a strong interest in how societies and individuals deal with historical trauma such as racism, discrimination, persecution and genocide, and she is passionate about raising public awareness about difficult heritage and history through curatorial interventions and experiential learning. Myriam has joined the CFRAC team as Research Coordinator for the Understanding Newcomer Experiences of Inclusion research project, and she also contributes to the Gender Inclusivity in the Workplace project.

Contract Consultants & Facilitators

Roxanne Felix-Mah, BSc, MSc

Noelle Jaipaul, BA, MSc

Kaitlin Lauridsen, BSc, MPH

Ian Mathieson, BA, MA

Ashima Sumaru-Jurf, BA, BEd

Ada Tai, MBA, CPHR, C.Mgr.