Manager of Multicultural Services, Surrey Libraries
Ravi Basi was born in Punjab, India, grew up in England and immigrated to Canada over 40 years ago. After completing a degree in English Literature at SFU, she obtained her Master's in Library Science in 1985 from UBC.
Ravi coordinates and oversees services for immigrants, refugees, and newcomers at Surrey Libraries. For over 30 years she has been involved with outreach, programs, and advocacy for Surrey's culturally diverse communities. She also teaches anti-racism and cross-cultural workshops, and is involved with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives.
A recipient of the 2003 Surrey Community Leader in Education award (sponsored by KPU), Ravi describes herself as a learner, not an expert. She believes that ongoing education, dialogue, meaningful actions, relationship-building, and self-reflection, are all key factors in promoting intercultural understanding and creating cohesive communities.
When not working at the library, Ravi enjoys cooking, eating, reading, Zumba, and spending time with her cherished family!
Sherman Chan, MSc. RSW
Director of Family & Settlement Services, MOSAIC, Vancouver
Sherman Chan is the Director of Family and Settlement Services at MOSAIC. He has a Master of Science in Applied Social Studies Degree from United Kingdom, and is a registered social worker. He has worked in the field of social service for more than thirty years in Canada, Hong Kong, USA and Britain. Sherman takes a leadership role with immigration matters in Canada. He is currently Co-chair of Corrections Canada Pacific Region Ethnocultural Advisory Committee, a member of the Transit Police Chief's Community Council. He was a member of the Executive and Treasurer of the Canadian Council for Refugees, a member of the National Settlement Council, a member of the Transit Police Chief's Community Council, and served as a Director of the Board of the Pro Bono Law BC and Board of AMSSA.
Sherman has done a number of collaborative studies with research institutions and participated in social justice advocacy with community groups. He presented three times in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on 'Best Settlement Services', 'Promoting Economic Prosperity through Settlement Services', and 'Resettlement of Syrian Refugees to Canada'.
Sherman is the recipient of the City of Vancouver 2006 Cultural Harmony Award, recognizing his outstanding contribution to the promotion of cultural harmony in the City of Vancouver, and a Canadian Delegate to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 19th Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement, Geneva, Switzerland in 2013.
Rebecca Danielle Clarke
Manager, Museum and Heritage Services, Community Services Division, City of Richmond
Rebecca Clarke is the Manager of Museum and Heritage Services for the City of Richmond directing programming and exhibitions for the City's cultural heritage places such as the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site and the Richmond Museum.
Rebecca has worked in the museum and heritage sector for almost 20 years, including leading programming at the Museum of Vancouver and Port Moody Station Museum and serving as Executive Director for the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. She also served on Council for the British Columbia Museums Association from 2015-2017. Prior to joining the City of Richmond, she worked as Policy and Program Officer for Parks Canada in the Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate supporting the agency's effort for truth and reconciliation.
Originally from Florida, Rebecca has lived in Vancouver for the past 25 years. She completed a Master Degree in Sociology of Education at UBC and worked for the early part of her career in the educational sector, supporting children with different learning styles and Englisch language learners. Rebecca's passion for community education and heritage motivate her work and travels.
Narima Dela Cruz
Language Translator/Interpreter, Community Leader/Advocate
Narima Dela Cruz is the current President of the Filipino Canadian National Congress, the national association which represents the nearly 1M Filipinos in Canada. She is also the long-time known leader of the Filipino Community in Surrey and is the Founder of Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society (SPIDS). She works as a freelance Language Interpreter and Translator since 2013, and is also a Licensed Realtor by profession.
Narima obtained her Bachelor of Science degree (with post degree education in Law and in Southeast Asian Studies) in the Philippines and took up Trading Services License course at the Sauder Melville School of Business of the University of British Columbia.
She has been a registered Volunteer and/or Community partner for various organizations including Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Blood Services, B.C. Transplant Society, Canadian Cancer Society of B.C., OPTIONS Community Services, SUCCESS Surrey, City of Surrey Parks & Recreation, and the Surrey Food Bank. She is also a former Executive Committee member for 8 years, and is a former President, of the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) at Johnston Heights Secondary School in Surrey.
Narima has received numerous recognitions in her years as a community leader, professional, volunteer, and advocate. The most notable of which are the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award, the Realtors Care Award by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the Canada 150 Community Awards, finalist for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, among many others.
KPU Alumni; Graduate student (SFU), Community Researcher, Burnaby Museum
Karah Goshinmon Foster
Executive Director, Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, Burnaby
Karah Goshinmon Foster is the Executive Director of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, a place of Japanese Canadian history, heritage and culture, located in Burnaby, BC. She completed an Associate of Arts Degree in Anthropology at Camosun College and received a BA with Distinction in Anthropology from the University of Victoria in 2011, in her hometown of Victoria, BC. Her passion for the arts and museums is expressed through ongoing formal study of chanoyu, traditional Japanese tea practice, and seven years as a Volunteer Associate at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC until 2019.
Karah combines creative interests and administration, with extensive experience in guest service environments for small and large businesses. Currently, she is on the Board of Universal Limited Performance Society, and an advisor on the New Westminster Secondary School Memorialization Advisory Committee and the Asian Studies Program Advisory Committee at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Karah lives in Burnaby with her husband, two stepdaughters, dog and cat.
Program Director, Settlement & Family Services, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., Vancouver
Community Engaged Learning Officer, Students Development & Services, University of British Columbia
Kamala Elizabeth Nayar
KPU Faculty, Asian Studies
Kamala Elizabeth Nayar (PhD, McGill University; BA, McGill University; RN, Vanier College) has been teaching at KPU since 2001, during which she played a major role in the development of the Asian Studies program. With expertise in South Asian religions and diasporic communities, Nayar teaches a wide variety of courses on religion, culture, cinema, and society. Nayar has been involved in many research projects and held the KPU Chancellor's Research Chair 2011-2014. For a list of her publications, see https://www.kpu.ca/arts/asian-studies/faculty/kamala-nayar
Kam K. Raman, ICD.D, MBA
Vice President, Commercial Financial Services (Public Sector, Not-For-Profit & Business Professional Services), Royal Bank of Canada
Kam Raman began her career in the credit union system and brings over 25 years of progressive experience in senior leadership roles. Kam joined RBC in March 2020 as a Senior Leadership Intern and quickly became BC's first Director, Diversity and Inclusion. In this assignment, she has accelerated and deepened RBC's Diversity and Inclusion portfolio and journey. Kam was instrumental in driving a culture of inclusion as she led a series of Employee Listening Circles, established a National Indigenous Advisory Council and partnered with the Community Marketing team to identify key sponsorship engagement activities.
Kam is passionate about community and serves on the boards for BGC Canada and DiverseCity Community Resources Society and is a Finance and Adult committee member with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. She has been active with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade where she chaired the Communications Committee with the Women's Leadership Council. She has also served as a Public Director Executive Lean Leadership and achieved her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Clinical Counsellor in North Delta, Executive Director of Sher Vancouver
Alex Sangha has a Master's in Public Administration and Public Policy from the Department of Government at the London School of Economics. He has a Master of Social Work from Dalhousie University, as well as a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of British Columbia with a First Class Standing. He is both a registered clinical social worker and registered clinical counselor in BC.
Alex has worked as a social worker, clinician, case manager, youth counsellor, instructor, and team leader for many organizations including Fraser Health Authority and the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Alex currently has an established private counselling practice in North Delta.
He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Sher Vancouver LGBTQ Friends Society which is a social, cultural, and support non-profit organization for LGBTQ South Asians and friends.
Alex has produced an award-winning short documentary film entitled, My Name Was January, and his debut feature documentary film, Emergence: Out of the Shadows will be released in late 2021.
Alex is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada.
Dr. Jane Jae-Kyung Shin
Vice President of Students and Community Development, Vancouver Community College
She served previously as Associate Vice President of Student Success, Dean of Student Development, and faculty member of Science Department. In 2013, Jane ran successfully to represent the Constituency of Burnaby-Lougheed in the 40th Parliament, and became the first Canadian of Korean descent in Canada to be elected to a Provincial Legislative Assembly. She served a number of roles in Opposition, as Deputy Spokesperson for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Immigration, Intergovernmental Relations, Trade and Multiculturalism, and as Spokesperson for Small Business. During her term, Jane reached out to over 50 visible minority communities across British Columbia, welcoming more than a thousand new and settled immigrants and people of refuge to the capital city for intercultural dialogue and democratic participation. Jane was named one of Canada's Top 25 Immigrants in 2019 by the Canadian Immigrant Magazine and Royal Bank of Canada's national people's choice award, and also received the B.C. Achievement Community Award in 2021 from the Offices of the Premier and Lieutenant Governor of B.C. in recognition of her contributions.
Jane studied Cell Biology and Genetics at the University of British Columbia, before going into earn her medical doctorate at Spartan Health Sciences University in St. Lucia. Jane also has an executive certificate in Women in Leadership from Cornell University, a Provincial Instructor's Diploma from VCC, San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Certificate from the Provincial Health Services Authority of B.C., and a Master of Education in Educational Technology and Learning Design from Simon Fraser University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at University of Toronto with a research interest in Universal Design.
KPU Faculty, Asian Studies & Language and Culture
Justin Stein (PhD, University of Toronto, Study of Religion) is an Instructor in the Asian Studies and the Languages and Cultures departments at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. His teaching focuses on the history, society, and culture of East Asia and Asian diasporas, particularly the intersections of religion, gender, medicine, colonialism, science, capitalism, and the state. His research examines how modern Japanese religious and spiritual practices, especially spiritual healing, have been shaped through transnational exchanges. His first monograph, currently under review, is based on his dissertation research on the development of the Reiki healing system in the twentieth-century North Pacific and extends its analysis to other "transnational spiritual therapies". He has two current research projects: one on how 1930s Buddhist youth associations in the British, Japanese, and American empires engaged with colonialism; and another on a nineteenth-century Zen meditation system that claimed to cure all illness and distress through restructuring the nervous system. You can read some of his scholarship at https://justinstein.academia.edu/
Senior Program Manager (Skills & Competencies), Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Erin Williams is a Senior Program Manager at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a national not-for-profit think tank focused on building Canada's trans-Pacific ties. Her current file includes Asia competence programming and editorial support. Prior to joining APF Canada, Erin worked for the Canadian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), including serving Associate Editor for CSCAP's annual flagship publication, the CSCAP Regional Security Outlook. She sits on the Advisory Board of the Canada China Forum and the Board of the Studies in China Alumni Society of BC.
Guidelines for the Asian Studies External Advisory Committee
(drafted by Dr. Kamala Nayar, Asian Studies chair, Spring 2020)
To establish the criteria for the KPU Asian Studies External Advisory Committee (ASEAC)
i. Community engagement and networking with the Asian Studies program