Kurshida Mirza, BEM

Kurshida has a passion for working with communities and has developed a unique vehicle in Milton Keynes (MK) for engaging with diverse communities and in particular Muslims and faith-based communities who are seldom heard and less visible.  Kurshida is the founder of Trubys Garden Tea Room, an interfaith pop-up café promoting positive dialogue between Muslims and the wider community in MK – this has become an important conduit for community engagement with diverse communities utilising methods that produce results.  She also founded and created the Great Get Together Iftaar in 2017 to bring the diverse communities in MK to celebrate Ramadan with the Muslim community along with the Trubys Abrahamic Women’s Choir in 2022 which enables women and girls from the Abrahamic faith to share the rich tradition of recitation and singing within their faith with the wider community.

Kurshida was a Trustee and Chair of the Board of Trustees for Milton Keynes Community Foundation from 2020-2023, Chair of Citizens MK from 2016-2019, and Chair of Midlands Region of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN) between 2016-2020.

Kurshida has a research, policy and strategy background working for local and central government with strong track record in social action.  She held many portfolios in Government including leading on housing for vulnerable and older people, community engagement, tackling workless and homelessness.

Born in India, Kurshida came to the UK as a seven year old, her lived-in experiences of the harsh reality of growing up with racism and lack of opportunities for girls and women has made her resilient and resourceful to find positive solutions to rise beyond expectations. She is happily married to her soul mate Jabeer Butt whom she met at University, her pillar of support and strength.  Kurshida has lived in Milton Keynes since 1990 where she lives with her children Imtiaaz and his wife Anum and Zulehka her daughter.  Her sisters are her best friends and a day never goes without their good advice and counsel.

Kurshida’s year in the office of High Sheriff is informed by and rooted in her core Islamic values of Peace, Justice, and Love for humanity, and her Interfaith work.  Inspired by her mother who always put the needs of others before her own, giving voice to many women when they had no one to turn to, Kurshida will focus on creating opportunities to further inclusivity.  She will prioritise activities, interventions and visits to charities and organisations that work with diverse communities to tackle social exclusion, strengthen communities and create partnerships.

Kurshida was awarded a Women Leaders Award for 2019 for community impact and received her British Empire Medal in 2020 in recognition of her community work for Milton Keynes.

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