Miranda Kamal is the Executive Director, Founder, and Head Coach of Mentoring Juniors Kids Organization (MJKO), a youth-based charity that uses the sport of boxing to create social change in racialized communities. Miranda, a past competitive boxer, took up the sport of boxing to heal from a sexual assault as a teen. Overtraining as a female boxer, led to a spinal cord injury and the end of Miranda’s competitive career.
Knowing the positive impact boxing could have on one’s life, Miranda left her job as a successful mortgage broker and founded MJKO, together with her now husband, 8X National Boxing Champion, Ibrahim “Firearm” Kamal. Since 2009, they have provided free access to boxing as a tool for good physical and mental health to over 12,000 young people across Canada.
In 2017, Kamal was asked to be a presenter to Police Chiefs from around the world at the Pearls in Policing conference held in Toronto. This Global think tank invites top executives in law enforcement to meet and discuss the strategic and personal challenges of their organizations. Miranda shared how MJKO, and the 14 Division of Toronto Police have succeeded in developing, a long term, mutually beneficial relationships that serves the youth of South Parkdale.
In 2018, Miranda traveled to Rohtak, India to become certified a AIBA (International Association of Boxing) Level 2 Star Olympic Boxing Coach. This certification allows Miranda to coach at any event sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee. At the time of her certification, there were only 26 women in the world holding this certification. Miranda has completed the highest level of coaching certification within the Canadian certification structure, graduating in 2018 with her Advanced Coaching Diploma from the Canadian Sport Institution.
After a decade of serving Toronto’s most vulnerable youth, MJKO expanded across international borders. Miranda Kamal, a 20-year visitor to Montego Bay always wanted to be more than a tourist who just takes in the sun. She wanted to help give back to local youth using the sport that healed her. After being introduced to Stephen Jones, the President of the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control in late November 2019, Miranda knew she could make an impact sharing what MJKO had learned about using boxing as a catalyst to help young people affected by violence and trauma.
The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives supported the opening of the Montego Bay Boxing Club and the launch of the Gloves Over Guns Initiative with a $15,000 grant. The Gloves Over Guns program will mirror MJKO’s programs in South Parkdale serving communities affected by gun violence in Montego Bay. Since the launch in early 2020, Miranda has helped secure over $8,000 US dollars providing the initial equipment and apparel in support of the Gloves Over Guns project.
When not working with the kids, Miranda has been known to train our Prime Minister, The Right Honorable, Justin Trudeau when he is in Toronto.
MJKO is a South-Parkdale based charity, that uses leadership training to promote positive, healthy lifestyle choices for children and youth. With certified coaches, MJKO builds Community Champions by focusing on the needs of the whole person through non-contact boxing, which includes physical training (skipping, shadow boxing, defense moves) and mental skills training (visualization and meditation). Our programs allow students to develop an appreciation for physical fitness, inclusive communities, mindfulness, healthy eating, and volunteerism.