Project Management Team
Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains
Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains is the Director of the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley and is an Associate Professor in Social Cultural Media Studies. Her current research interests include migration, settlement, and integration; cross-cultural education and curriculum implementation; race, racism, and ethnicity; identity politics; South Asian Canadian Diaspora studies and Punjabi Canadian cultural historiographies. Satwinder has extensive years of professional experience in community development and has worked extensively with organizations in the area of cross-cultural mental health, immigrant women, youth and families and on diversity, equity, inclusion, cross cultural development, women’s rights and socio-religious interfaith dialogue. She serves the community as a diversity educator, community developer and community activist in the field of anti-racism and immigrant settlement integration.
Dr. Tzu-I Chung
Dr. Tzu-I Chung is a cultural and social historian, specializing in the study of transnational migration within the context of historical, cultural and economic interactions between North America and Asia-Pacific. As a curator of history at the Royal BC Museum & Archives, she has developed, facilitated, and led cross-sectoral community heritage and legacy projects. Her research has informed numerous exhibitions, curriculum development, and public and academic publications on the topics of anti-racism, cross-cultural community histories, and critical heritage studies. She is currently a member of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board, and a peer reviewer for academic journals and a juror for public history prizes and grants.
As Director of Strategy at Skyrocket, Mo collaborates with creative minds across the country and continues to create moving experiences for clients and community. His long-standing passion for technology, and his hunger for new experiences led him to Silicon Valley where he honed his talents in software development and Internet marketing. He returned to Canada with a newfound appreciation for the cultural diversity and set out on a personal mission to shatter barriers and encourage cross-cultural understanding. In 2012, Mo was recognized for his contributions by Business for the Arts as the national recipient of the Arnold Edinborough Award, and in 2013 was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Dr. Balbir Gurm
Dr. Balbir Gurm is a ½ generation community leader, activist and nursing professor with strong values of social justice and seva (volunteerisms), and is a role model for leadership in education, on boards and advisory panels, and engages communities to advocate for policy and system change. She facilitates workshops on diversity and inclusion to address systemic racism. Her multisectoral project, NEVR, breaks down silos by bringing together critical understandings of relationship violence. One product is a free ebook Making Sense of a Global Pandemic: Relationship Violence & Working Together Towards a Violence Free Society. Dr. Gurm’s excellence in education, leadership and dedication are acknowledged with multiple awards including Excellence in Nursing Education (RNABC), NISODS Teaching Excellence, YWCA Women of Distinction and Connecting the Community (2021) BC Achievement (2021), Soroptimist’s Ruby, Times of Canada, Shakti and Leadership Canadian Cancer Society. She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing and best known for using her privilege to improve health by addressing social justice issues in communities.
Anita Lal is a fourth-generation settler, born and raised in so called ‘British Columbia’ on the traditional territory of Lhtako Dene and Semiahmoo, Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations. Her Biji, Thakuri Kaur Lal, instilled in her the Sikh values of seva, social justice and advocacy from a young age. These values fuel her work as the co-founder of Poetic Justice Foundation where she has been creating impactful and transformative programming, organizing, and activating the South Asian community. Her approach is always inclusive, intersectional, and critical; she draws attention to biases, inequalities and oppressive systems of racism and discrimination. Recently, her work has focused on creating space and dialogue around anti-casteism and the Dalit narrative. Anita strongly believes in giving back to the community and serves on Boards and Advisory Committees such as the South Asian Canadian Legacy Project, the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, and Seva Thrift Society. She also undertakes consulting work for the Royal Academy of Bhangra and Moving Forward Family Services, community-based organizations that work with marginalized people. She is inspired by Dr. Ambedkar’s words: Educate. Agitate. Organize.
Kim Gough is the Learning Program Developer at the Royal BC Museum. She has over 20 years of experience working in museums, heritage sites and interpretation centers. Her work for the Royal BC Museum has included school programs, feature exhibitions, volunteer training, gallery interpretation and the development of a smartphone app. In 2017, Kim earned a Master of Museum Education from UBC, focusing on outreach kits for seniors living in care facilities. Continuing with a focus on outreach and community programming, Kim will develop more opportunities for people who cannot physically visit the museum to explore the collections, learn new skills and encourage dialogue and reflection.
Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra
Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra is the Coordinator at the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley, co-curator of exhibits at the Sikh Heritage Museum, located in the National Historic Site Gur Sikh Temple in Abbotsford, BC and a sessional faculty in the Department of History at UFV. She is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at UBC and is interested in looking at the affective experiences of museum visitors through a critical race theory lens. Sharn is passionate about activist work and engagement in the community through academia and museum exhibits.
Janet McDonald joined the Royal BC Museum as a program developer in 1998, after 11 years of wide-ranging experience in exhibition and program work at McGill’s Redpath Museum. She holds an MA in museum studies from University of Leicester, a BA in anthropology and art history from McGill, and has studied applied museum studies, museum exhibition and interpretation at Algonquin College.
Recently retired as Head of Learning, Janet oversaw all public and school programming activities as they related to formal and informal learning programs delivered by full-time staff, seasonal staff, contract workers and volunteers. She worked with museum staff, cooperating societies, outside agencies and organizations and other government departments. In developing programs, she sought to explore and ensure a balance between existing popular programs and innovative initiatives designed to address new educational transformations, community engagement and diverse populations.