Board of Directors

Have you wanted to get more involved in the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights? Do you believe in our mandate and purpose?  The Board of Directors is proud to announce that applications are being taken for the board with a closing date of March 31, 2017. Times are exciting at the Centre and we have a lot of plans in our efforts to promulgate human rights and build peace.  Consider joining us!

For more information and to apply, click HERE!
2015/2016 Board of Directors

Joan Cowling has worked extensively in the area of human resource management and development in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Cowling served four terms (1980-1992) as Board Chairman and Trustee of the Edmonton Public School Board. In 1991-1992, Ms. Cowling served as the President of the Canadian School Boards’ Association. As President of CSBA, she was part of a committee that developed a model policy for multiculturalism and race relations for school boards throughout Canada.

During her public tenure, Ms. Cowling has served in the following capacities: Provincial Executive, Alberta School Boards Association; Steering Committee Member, Economic Development Study, City of Edmonton; Board of Directors, Alberta Association for Multicultural and Intercultural Education; Board of Directors, Alberta School Employees’ Benefit Plan; Board of Directors, Edmonton Space Science Centre; Names Advisory Committee, City of Edmonton; and, Chairman, Museum/Archives Restoration Committee, McKay Avenue School.

Ms. Cowling continues to be an active member and facilitator of various civic, provincial and national committees and task forces dealing with intergovernmental relations, multicultural and race relations, collective bargaining and contract interpretations, organizational analysis and strategic planning.


Mr. Gardner is currently a high school teacher at McNally in Edmonton. He has been involved in the John Humphrey Centre programming since 2006 and has written numerous educational resources on citizenship and social justice.


Norm has over 35 years of government experience, including responsibility for the design and implementation of the Persons with Developmental Disabilities community governance structure in Alberta and as the first CEO of the Persons with Developmental Disabilities Provincial Board. On his retirement in 2001, Alberta Seniors and Community Development established an annual leadership award in Norms' honour.  He is currently on the board of the Canadian Association for Community Living, Centre for Spiritual Living and co-chairs a National Task Force on Deinstitutionalization.


Salma Lakhani, born in Uganda, went to the University of Manchester after completing her high school studies at the Aga Khan School in Kampala. After completing her post-secondary honours degree in Clinical Biochemistry, Salma came to Edmonton, Alberta with her husband Zaheer in 1977. Since then, Salma has been a businesswoman; she owns and operates her own early childhood education facility and manages her husband’s medical practice.

Salma’s contributions to the voluntary sector include the following:

afterschool teacher for Afghan refugees

chair of Old Scona Academic High School Parent Council for three years, and president of Friends of Old Scona Academic Society for three years

member on Capital Campaign Cabinet for Compassion House, a home for out-of-town women undergoing breast cancer treatment in Edmonton

member of organizing committee for Playing for Life Concert, raising funds for Alberta Cancer Board

organizer of Fundraising Tea for Kid’s Kottage, held at the Glenrose Hospital

fundraiser and volunteer with Aga Khan Foundation Canada, raising money for third world development

during sabbatical in Tanzania, volunteered time teaching reading skills at a local kindergarten

member of Outreach Team for Lois Hole Hospital for Women

recently appointed to board of Zebra Foundation

mentor for girls at NorQuest College

In recognition of her voluntary services, Salma was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005.


Dr. Sayeed is a former chief commissioner of the Alberta Human Rights Commission. He is a participant in the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), responsible for administrative consultations regarding the Disability Tax Credit. As a medical doctor and father of a son with disabilities, he has been involved in numerous professional and voluntary activities to advance and promote the rights of persons with disabilities.

Roxanne Ulanicki


Roxanne is a disability awareness advocate and consultant. She is the current President of Supports for Artspace Independent Living, board member of the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights and the founder of Beyond Barriers Inc. She was formerly vice-chairperson of iDANCE Edmonton. She has presented disability advocacy workshops for the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, University of Alberta and NAIT. Roxanne worked for the Government of Canada before dedicating herself to the advancement of disability issues through her work  with  diverse groups as the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada, John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, Employabilities, Alberta Disability Coalition, Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society and the ArtSpace Housing Cooperative. In April 2011, Roxanne was featured as Global Edmonton’s “Woman of Vision” for her work in disability advocacy and integrated dance.