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CMU instructor, MSC alumni named as CBC Manitoba Future 40 finalists

Canadian Mennonite University congratulates one of its faculty and two of its alumni on being part of CBC Manitoba’s Future 40, a list of Manitobans under the age of 40 who are making a big impact on their community.

James Magnus-Johnston, Instructor of Political Studies and Economics, was named one of the finalists late last month after CBC Manitoba and Metro called on Manitobans to nominate people. More than 195 nominations came in.

Jamil Mahmood and Abdikheir Ahmed, two alumni of Menno Simons College – a college of CMU – were also finalists.

About the recipients:

James Magnus-Johnston, Instructor of Political Studies and Economics

Magnus-Johnston has a background in green economics, finance, and public policy. He has an MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University and is the Canadian Director of the Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.

In addition to his work at CMU, Magnus-Johnston is one of five co-founders of Fools and Horses Coffee Company in Winnipeg. On-tap wine, compostable packaging and local products are all part of the coffee shop’s goal to be completely waste-free.

A portion of the money that Fools and Horses makes will be invested into RISE Urban incubator, a social enterprise he co-founded with his friend, Benjamin Gillies. Magnus-Johnston and Gilles were among the lead authors for Transition Winnipeg’s Energy Descent Initiative, entitled Winnipeg’s Great Transition: Ideas and Actions for a Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient City. RISE Urban, a non-profit, was set up to initiate some of the demonstration projects that aim to reduce our ecological footprint found throughout the publication.

Magnus-Johnston, who triple-majored in Political Studies, Rhetoric and Communications, and Theatre as an undergraduate student at the University of Winnipeg, is also heavily involved in Winnipeg’s arts scene. He sings regularly with Antiphony, a seven-member acapella ensemble, and he has also performed with the Winnipeg Singers and Camerata Nova.

Jamil Mahmood (MSC, BA ’10, International Development Studies)

Jamil Mahmood is the executive director of the Spence Neighbourhood Association, an organization that works with the people of Spence to revitalize and renew their community in the areas of holistic healing, community, connecting, community economic development, environment and open spaces, and youth and families.

Mahmood works to address gaps or enhance the strengths within Winnipeg through a variety of different initiatives. He established Youth Programming at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre, which now sees over 100 children a day and includes a full meal and transportation.

At SNA, Mahmood implemented a basketball program, providing an opportunity for inner city youth to play basketball in an organized league. The True Sport Foundation has recognized this basketball program as a model program.

Ten years ago, Mahmood began with SNA by setting up community gardens. He continuously works to make the West End a healthy, safe, and welcoming environment for all.

Abdikheir Ahmed (MSC, BA ’07, International Development Studies)

Abdikheir Ahmed is a longtime advocate for newcomers to Manitoba. He is involved with the Social Planning Council’s Local Immigration Partnership, which brings together different levels of government to plan and research the best strategies to help newcomers.

Previously, Ahmed served as the executive director of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba where he helped support and advocate for newcomers. Ten years ago, Ahmed came to Canada as a refugee, and now regularly opens his home to newcomer youth who need extra support or mentorship.

He helped found Humankind International, a non-governmental organization that seeks to improve the lives of children in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya by supporting their education.

Ahmed was awarded the United Nations Fellowship as a People of African Descent Fellow at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. He is the recipient of a Citizen’s Appreciation Award from the Winnipeg Police Service for his efforts to build relationships between the newcomer community and police.

About CMU
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as graduate degrees in theology, ministry, peacebuilding and collaborative development, and an MBA. CMU has over about 900 full-time equivalent students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury and Menno Simons College campuses and in its Outtatown certificate program.

For information about CMU visit

For additional information, please contact:
Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing; 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB  R3P 2N2