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Jamil Jivani

April 6, 2018 by Speakers' Spotlight

Jamil Jivani | Why Young Men

Jamil Jivani tackles some of the biggest challenges in the world as a lawyer, community organizer, and teacher. Jamil’s change leadership is informed by his personal journey of empowerment from being a failing high school student and working as a dishwasher, to attending the most exclusive law school in the world. Coming from a single parent household, as a youth he nearly fell into many of the traps that send young men on a detour away from success.

Jivani was raised in a mostly immigrant community in Toronto that faced significant problems with integration. Having grown up with a largely absent father, he knows what it is to watch a man’s future influenced by gangster culture or radical ideologies associated with Islam. Jivani found himself at a crossroads: he could follow the kind of life we hear about too often in the media, or he could choose a safe, prosperous future. He opted for the latter, attending Yale and becoming a lawyer, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and a powerful speaker for the disenfranchised. He launched his book Why Young Men this week, not as a memoir but a book of ideas that pursues a positive path and offers a counter-intuitive, often provocative argument for a sea change in the way we look at young men, and for how they see themselves.

Listen to Jamil’s recent interview on CBC’s The Current about the book, and Jamil recently shared his thoughts on how he’s courageously coping with a recent diagnosis of non Hodgkins lymphoma just as the book launched.

Read Jamil’s essay here.