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, broadly interested in transnational migration within the context of historical, cultural and economic interactions between North America and Asia-Pacific and of cultural and economic globalization. She received her PhD from the University of Arizona, studying political economy, representation in popular culture and comparative cultural and social history. Since becoming the Curator of History at the Royal BC Museum in 2011, Tzu-I’s research has focused on BC’s diverse cultures and communities and their transnational connections. Her work is enriched by her experience in community outreach and her own cross-cultural and multi-lingual background.
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 member of the Faculty of Health at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal. Balbir has been honoured with the Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia and the University of Texas. She has also been the recipient of Academic Excellence Awards from the Times of Canada and from Shakti (non-profit society dedicated to empowering individuals, families and communities). Balbir founded NEVR (the Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships). She has raised issues of equity in many spheres including in definitions, in policies, practices and in relationships. Balbir has brought together community partners from policing, volunteer and government services to work on eliminating violence in relationships.
Anita Lal is a social justice advocate who works in the non-profit and charity sector. Through her organization Anarchy Consulting, she creates safe spaces for dialogue, critical self reflection, community programming and outreach. She recently organized and produced the Dalits and #Jatt’s community dialogue and Positive Parenting South Asian Workshops in Surrey, BC, addressing delinquency and at-risk behaviour with South Asian youth. She is the Community Relations Specialist at Windmill Microlending, a national charity that serves skilled immigrants and refugees. Anita also serves on the Advisory Board for the South Asian Studies Institute at The University of the Fraser Valley and Seva Thrift Society.
Janet MacDonald 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.
As head of Learning, Janet oversees all public and school programming activities as they relate to formal and informal learning programs delivered by full-time staff, seasonal staff, contract workers and volunteers. She works with museum staff, cooperating societies, outside agencies and organizations and other government departments. In developing programs, she seeks to explore and ensure a balance between existing popular programs and innovative initiatives designed to address new educational transformations, community engagement and diverse populations.
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.