Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Jamil Jivani ’13JD:
Yale blue, police blue

When Jamil Jivani ’13JD returned to his native Toronto after graduation last summer, he took with him a bit of Yale in each hand. 

On the one hand, his participation in Yale Law School's Innovations in Policing Clinic helped him generate "ideas that can improve police-community relations," he writes in an e-mail to the Yale Alumni Magazine. On the other hand, he personally experienced the need for such improvement through "some experiences with Yale security that I would describe as less than pleasant."

"I was often accused of not belonging in the building," recalls Jivani, who is black. "These disparities encouraged me to think about policing issues a lot in law school and motivated me to keep working on these issues since graduating."

An early product of that work: the Policing Literacy Initiative, about 20 young professionals and students "bridging research and advocacy to improve police services and community safety in Toronto."

This week PLI launched a publicity blitz, netting coverage in the Toronto Star, the public media outlet TVO, and the National Post, where Jivani wrote an op-ed about being questioned by Toronto police while standing outside his apartment building. The group has also launched a crowdfunding campaign for a documentary.

The goal is not cop-bashing, Jivani says: in the Yale clinic, he and fellow students learned "how to work with police and community groups to understand what's going well and what needs to change, and separate ourselves from adversarial relationships between police and community members."


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Law School, Jamil Jivani, Policing Literacy Intitative
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