Melvin Sedeora


Areas of Focus: Climate Solutions, Democatic Participation, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Acess, International Relations and Urban Sustainability
Pronouns: he/him


Melvin (he/him) is a third-generation Punjabi-Sikh from Malaysia with a BArts Degree in International Studies from SFU, specializing in Security and Conflict. 

He's now pursuing his MA in International Affairs and Diplomacy with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

An SFU Semester in Dialogue alumnus, Melvin is dedicated to creating spaces for meaningful conversations on critical issues. Currently, he serves as the Dialogue and Engagement Coordinator on the Centre's Social Enterprise team.

His areas of interest include the areas of migration and forced displacement, conflict management, human rights, and political accountability. Beyond his professional commitments, Melvin enjoys writing comedy and exploring Vancouver's neighborhoods, often in search of the city's next best eatery.

What is your role at the Centre for Dialogue?

As a Dialogue and Engagement Coordinator at the Centre for Dialogue, my job is akin to that of a navigator and/or cartographer. My work usually involves mapping out the crucial stakeholders and diverse perspectives necessary for discussions on contentious topics; ensuring that every community touched by the topic finds their place in the narrative. I'm one of many logistical architects, planning and organizing dialogues of various sizes to create inclusive environments where individuals can deeply engage with topics close to their hearts. Collaborating closely with my team, we often strategize together on pathways to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our initiatives, all with an eye on the ultimate destination: justice. It's like crafting spaces where everyone can pull up a chair, engage deeply, and have their voices heard on matters close to their hearts.

What does dialogue mean to you?

Dialogue to me embodies a shared space where diverse voices can intermingle — exchanging perspectives, experiences, and wisdom. It's not merely speaking but deeply listening, understanding, and embracing the multifaceted layers of others' viewpoints. It isn't a monologue or a passive exchange—it's an active, reciprocal engagement, a two-way street where each participant contributes, learns, and evolves. It's about fostering connections, bridging gaps, and collectively exploring solutions, with an openness to both share insights and absorb the invaluable lived-perspectives offered by others. True dialogue isn’t just about words and data; it's about building understanding, empathy, acceptance, and shared meaning within a community.

What is a common assumption you'd like to demystify?

The common assumption I’d love to unravel is that community engagement operates as a one-way street—an avenue solely for collecting information. Engagement is more than that; it's a dynamic exchange or reciprocal dance, so to speak. It's not just about gathering data; it's also about being receptive to the invaluable insights’ communities have to offer. It’s a give-and-take, where we don’t just seek information but actively embrace the community's wisdom, teachings and suggestions, especially regarding areas within systems that may not be functioning equitably. True engagement, if done right, is this beautiful two-way street where both parties contribute knowledge and gain invaluable learnings when done effectively.

Affiliated Initiatives and Resources

Highlights and Achievements

  • Provincial Engagement on the creation of a South Asian Canadian Museum for BC-ians of South Asian heritages