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

BA, MA, PhD

edehnavi@cfrac.com

(780) 425-4644

Elli 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 virksomhedens hjemmeside. 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

Accountant

BBA, CGA

echok@cfrac.com

(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 revia cena. 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.

Mansoureh Modarres

Programs Consultant, Research and Education

BA, MA, PhD

consulting@cfrac.com

(780) 425-4644

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”. Currently, she is with the Centre in the role of Education and Research Programs Consultant, and also coordinates our new initiative “Challenging Discrimination through Community Conversations”. Mansoureh is committed to raising awareness about social issues and fostering inclusive practices.

Reuben Quinn

Program Coordinator

rquinn@cfrac.com

(780) 425-4644

Reuben 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 https://newzpharmacy.com/.
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.

Noelle Jaipaul

Associate Consultant

BA, MSc

(she/her/hers) is a second-generation Canadian settler, born in Edmonton / amiskwaciwâskahikan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Arts in Public and International Affairs, and has lived and worked abroad in Kenya, Vietnam, and Tanzania. Noelle’s professional experience includes working in health programming and policy, primarily working with vulnerable populations, as well as in foreign affairs, immigration, and international development. Noelle also worked with the City of Edmonton, where she led the municipal work on the anti-racism file, helping to establish the first-ever City of Edmonton Anti-racism Advisory Committee. Noelle has extensive experience in developing and facilitating training on diversity and inclusion, intercultural communication, equity, and anti-racism. Noelle is President of the Board of John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, and is currently completing her PhD in political science at the University of Alberta.

Litzy Baeza

Facilitator

BA, MA

Litzy Litzy has a Master’s in Latin American Studies and a B.A. in Psychology. She has worked in the field of international education for the past 15 years managing a variety of projects overseas, primarily in Latin America. She started her work in the intercultural field in 2001, when working with students from Asia and Latin America and helping them adjust to Canadian society. She then moved on to independent consulting, facilitating intercultural communication seminars & workshops for a variety of clients from Edmonton. Litzy has also lived and worked abroad in Cuba, Chile and Mexico.

Litzy specializes in intercultural competency, cross-cultural intelligence and diversity & inclusion training. She also teaches an online course on Cross Cultural Intelligence at NAIT. She has received training from the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication in Portland, Oregon and completed a Certificate in Intercultural & Diversity studies through the University of British Columbia. Besides her native English, Litzy is fluent in Spanish. Litzy was a board member for the Centre for Race and Culture in Edmonton from January 2017 to January 2019.

 

Merna Rachid

Admin & Communications Assistant

BA

info@cfrac.com

7804254644

Merna is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta with a degree in French Language & Literature with specialization in Romance Languages and Translation Studies. She has been actively working in the Edmonton nonprofit sector for over 5 years, as well as several human rights organizations in the Middle East and internationally. Her work emphasizes post-colonial education, international human rights, and the societal effects of orientalism. Merna has joined the CFRAC team as the Communications and Administrative assistant. She is passionate about educating communities on CFRAC’s mission and create spaces to raise awareness and open discussions about systemic racism and oppression while creating vision for change.

 

Myriam Gerber

Research Coordinator

B.A., M.A.

projects@cfrac.com

7804254644

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 revia cena. 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 and Facilitators

Sahar Charradi, BA

Ian Mathieson, BA, MA

Ada Tai, MBA, CPHR, C.Mgr.