Oct. 26, 2022

Community entrepreneur and activist is motivated by the greater good

2022 Top 40 Under 40: Iman Bukhari, BCS’12; CEO, Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation
Iman Bukhari
Iman Bukhari Avenue Magazine

If 33-year-old Iman Bukhari, BCS’12, lives by any one mantra, it’s “don’t wait.” Oh yes, and “do more.”

After founding the non-profit Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation (CCMF) at the age of 19, Bukhari’s volunteer-run organization (powered by millennials and Gen-Z’ers) has worked to improve race relations across Alberta and Canada through education, technology and the arts. Whoever the audience, the connection, Bukhari says, always begins with a “meaningful dialogue . . . one that has no other motive than a passion for the greater good.”

Advocating for a more-inclusive society is what led the CCMF to spearhead a petition in 2020 leading the City of Calgary to declare that systemic racism is, indeed, a concern, pledging to create long-lasting change.

Do you remember any classes that were standouts?

General Studies 300 with Prof. Mark Wolfe . . . he was phenomenal. He probably didn’t realize it, but the knowledge he shared in that class helped shape who I am today. I’d like to thank him!

Where did you hang out on campus?

Mac Hall and the Law Library (because it was always quiet!).

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?

Creating Culture Commons — an online resources hub for kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers. That project involved working with more than 500 teachers in Alberta who volunteered for no other reason other than the greater good. I’m so grateful for being able-bodied and having the privilege to create a more-inclusive classroom for students present and future. I believe education is our biggest privilege and I loved being able to help with that journey, however I can.

If you were to go back to school, what would you take?

Data science. I would love to help solve big problems through big data. There is so much power in knowledge!

Who are your biggest heroes?

[Activist] Malala [Yousafzai]. She works to bring education to the most vulnerable girls around the world.

Any advice for students or new grads? 

Do as much as possible without thinking of the immediate benefit or if it makes you money. I volunteered a lot, and I still do, and it’s the sole reason why I am where I am.

A guilty pleasure?

K-Dramas. I can’t stop!

When you are not working, what do you do? 

Spend time with my family, help friends, travel if possible or read poetry.

With files from Avenue Magazine.

Meet the entire 2022 cohort of Top 40 Under 40 honourees at Avenue Magazine.