A ground-breaking filmmaker who excels at interfaith communication; a champion of Métis rights, education, and economic stability; and a community booster, mentor, and businesswoman – these are the impressive qualities that represent the NorQuest College honorary diploma class of 2019. Convocation 2019 takes place May 28 and 29 at Edmonton’s Winspear Centre.
Salma Lakhani: businesswoman, education and youth advocate
Salma Lakhani is a longtime community philanthropist with a passion for education, health care, and human rights. She believes strongly in providing opportunities to those who are facing challenges in life—a mindset that has guided her service to community and earned her a NorQuest College Honorary Diploma in Community Services Leadership.
Lakhani embodies NorQuest’s goals of providing learners with not only an education, but the confidence to thrive in life. Leading by example, she was one of the first mentors in the college’s Youth in Transition Mentorship Program (now called Upgrading for ESL Youth program), providing valuable guidance for students who needed a helping hand.
In addition to sitting on the advisory committee for NorQuest College’s 1000 Women: A Million Possibilities movement for nearly a decade, she also supports the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, Kids Kottage, Sorrentino’s Compassion House, and served as a board director on the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights.
Born in Uganda, Salma completed an honours degree in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Manchester, then moved to Edmonton with her husband, Zaheer, in 1977. A successful businesswoman, she owned and operated an early childhood education facility, and currently manages her husband’s medical practice. In recognition of her voluntary services, Salma was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Along with Salma, Zarqa Nawaz (Writer, broadcaster, interfaith practitioner) and Audrey Poitras (President, Metis Nation of Alberta) will be receiving 2019 Honorary diplomas.