Mahado Mohamed Hassan, a Solid State co-director and co-founder of Afiya Care Collective, is ethnically Somali and was born in Kenya. Her family immigrated to Canada in 2004, when she was only a 4-year-old child. A few of her family members have complex medical conditions, so they moved to Canada. This has heavily influenced her career path.

Through her lived experiences and SFU Health Sciences Bachelor’s degree, she has learned that Canada’s healthcare system is better than most but still flawed. “My professional goal is to positively change the Canadian healthcare system,”

Mahado declares. “As I am passionate about advocating for and empowering racialized and marginalized communities, I want to contribute to adopting improved practices that foster better physical and mental health support for BIPOC communities in Canada.”

While her accomplishments in life can be credited to her drive and hard work, many individuals have positively impacted her. “My parents are my biggest inspirations as they have overcome so much and remain resilient. They are both so different, yet similar in that they’ve heavily influenced the person I am today. They have taught me that anything is possible with hard work and prayers. Additionally, I’ve had several mentors that have provided me with so much wisdom and guidance. I hope to give the same to the youth around me. I am a Solid State mentor and have had the opportunity to connect with so many bright youths.”

One of the most extraordinary things Mahado learned is making room for herself. “My father has instilled in me that no matter what room I’m in, I can always contribute and deserve to have my voice heard. While I grew to be comfortable talking in big crowds at a young age through leading school assemblies and morning announcements over the PA, self-doubt or nerves still kick in occasionally. As a visibly Muslim black woman, I stick out in crowds but have learned to embrace this. If I could advise anyone, it would be: Be loud and proud! Sometimes you’ll have to create space yourself, but it is always worth the effort. You have much to offer the world; the right people will always listen.” 

Through her work at Solid State Community Industries (SSCI), a fantastic organization that everyone should look into, Mahado does fulfilling work. Risk-taking, community, collaboration, and ambition are essential and encouraged. “Since we are a cooperative, we are anti-capitalist, and some of our values include mutuality, reciprocity, and democracy. SSCI is an excellent example of the great benefits of reimagining structures. At Solid State, we have established roles without the damaging hierarchical structures we often see in society. This way, everyone can equally contribute. This is something all organizations should adopt!”

Solid State has allowed Mahado to dream big and imagine much more. “I’ve always wondered how I can address the health inequities faced by BIPOC within the healthcare system. I thought that I needed years and years of education and experience to even begin this work. However, at Solid State, I co-founded Afiya Care Collective, a group that is working towards creating a Health Center in Surrey, where Black residents can access an interdisciplinary team of nurse practitioners, nurses, doctors, advocates, social workers, and counselors. This will ensure a holistic and fulsome method of care for community members. I am so excited to see this come to life.”

In her free time, Mahado loves to spend time with her loved ones, play soccer, and go on long walks. She is also a massive fan of watching sunsets and being by the water. Over the last few years, she has learned (through burnout) the great importance of learning to take intentional time for oneself. “The three words that describe me are: considerate, ambitious, and reliable.”

If anything she mentioned resonates with you or you’d like to connect with her, please do so at