Sept. 8, 2023

Partnered with communities experiencing racism, new UCalgary professor steps into One Child Every Child role

Bukola Salami oversees an innovative program of research and initiatives on Black and racialized peoples’ health
Black Youth Mentorship Program high school students
Black Youth Mentorship Program high school students, mentored by Bukola Salami, fourth from left, met with MP Adam van Koeverden and UCalgary leaders.

The Department of Community Health Sciences, the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute welcome Dr. Bukola Salami, PhD, to the University of Calgary.

Salami, who joined the university as a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) on July 1, brings with her an ambitious program of research, education, and service, with initiatives focusing on the health of Black and racialized communities.

Before coming to UCalgary, Salami, a registered nurse, was a professor in the Faculty of Nursing and director of the intersections of gender signature area, Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation, University of Alberta. Her impressive track record includes leadership in over 85 funded studies, amassing $235 million in funding. Her nationally recognized research portfolio ranges from African immigrant child health and immigrant mental health to health-care access for Black women, immigrant children, and Black youth mental health. An internationally renowned researcher in equity, diversity and inclusion, Salami has published over 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Bukola Salami

Bukola Salami

“Community Health Sciences is excited to have Dr. Salami joining us to further the commitment to anti-racism in health systems and population health,” says Dr. Fiona Clement, PhD, department head, community health sciences. 

Salami’s research mandate has her overseeing the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Accelerator for One Child Every Child, a historic $125-million grant awarded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund in April 2023. The EDI Accelerator team is working with national partners of equity-deserving groups to co-create an EDI Action Plan for the initiative.

“Dr. Salami is a superstar, an inspiration to all of us, and a national leader in community-partnered research with equity-deserving communities,” says Dr. Susa Benseler, MD, PhD, director, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

“Children across Canada, and around the world are benefiting from her work. We are thrilled to welcome Bukola to UCalgary.”

Salami will collaborate with the O'Brien Institute to launch the Health Equity Hub, a platform for researchers to work with government and community agencies, driving changes to policy and practice.

"We are excited to welcome Dr. Salami, who exemplifies the values of the O’Brien Institute, as we prepare to launch our Health Equity Hub," says Dr. Katrina Milaney, PhD, interim scientific director, O’Brien Institute.  

Salami says collaborations between researchers and community partners nationwide are critical to address the embedded inequities that exist in Alberta and Canada.

“Alberta has one of the fastest-growing populations of both immigrants and Black people in Canada. We have a duty to ensure that we reduce the health inequities that exist along racial lines,” says Salami.

Working together to improve the lives of children, families and communities

Within the service component of Salami’s faculty role, she will contribute to the evolving anti-racism and health equity frameworks, policies, and initiatives of the university and the CSM.

“I am excited to collaborate with and learn from Dr. Michael Hart, vice-provost and associate vice-president research, Indigenous engagement, Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (equity, diversity, inclusion), and Dr. Kannin Osei-Tutu, CSM’s senior associate dean, health equity and systems transformation,” says Salami.

“We can have our greatest impact on the lives of diverse children, families and communities when we work together.”

Beyond her academic achievements, Salami has made notable contributions to community partnership. Founding and leading the African Child and Youth Migration Network, she has fostered a global network of 42 scholars dedicated to advancing knowledge in this field. Her work in Black youth mental health led to the first mental health clinic for Black Canadians in western Canada, a collaborative effort between the Africa Centre and the Alberta Black Therapist Network. In 2020, she established the Black Youth Mentorship and Leadership Program and in 2023, offered the program across Alberta. 

Bukola Salami is a professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, and a member of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute in the Cumming School of Medicine.

Health Equity

The O’Brien Institute for Public Health’s Health Equity Hub will serve as a platform for researchers across the University of Calgary to collaborate with government and community agencies. The alliance will mobilize health equity research into innovative changes to policy and practice, addressing persistent and challenging structural problems that can only be solved through a focus on health equity.

Child Health and Wellness

The University of Calgary is driving science and innovation to transform the health and well-being of children, youth and families. Led by the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, top scientists across the campus are partnering with Alberta Health Services, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, and our community to create a better future for children through research.

One Child Every Child

A Canada-first research and translation initiative funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, with a vision for all Canadian children to be the healthiest, most empowered and thriving in the world. Led by the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute at the University of CalgaryOne Child Every Child brings together Indigenous partners, Canada’s child health research institutes, equity-deserving communities, local and national stakeholders as well as global collaborators to dramatically improve the lives of children across Canada and beyond. 

Sign up for UToday

Sign up for UToday

Delivered to your inbox — a daily roundup of news and events from across the University of Calgary's 14 faculties and dozens of units

Thank you for your submission.