Our Mission

The Citizen Empowerment Project empowers Canadians from underrepresented communities to learn about and engage with national legal and policy issues. Underrepresented communities include youth, newcomers and low-income families. We create campaigns and public education initiatives focused on the biggest issues in our country.

To learn more about what we do, check out Our Initiatives.


Meet Our Team

Jamil Jivani

Jamil Jivani, Founder and Co-Chair

Jamil Jivani is the founder of the Citizen Empowerment Project and a Visiting Professor and Scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School. Jamil formerly worked as a corporate lawyer at Torys LLP and the Tim Hortons Corporate Law Department. He was named the 2015 Young Lawyer of the Year by the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers. Jamil currently serves on the board of directors of the Children's Aid Society of Toronto and the Yale Law School Executive Committee. He is a graduate of Yale Law School, York University and Humber College.


Harvey Lam

Harvey Lam, Co-Chair

Harvey Lam is a management consultant at Accenture and is building The Rumie Initiative. The Rumie Initiative is a non-profit organization bringing free educational content to the world’s underprivileged youth through low-cost technology. He previously worked as a corporate lawyer at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and the Ontario Securities Commission. Harvey attended University of Toronto Law School and University of Waterloo. He is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.



Michael Thorburn, Manager of Research and Communications

Michael Thorburn is a J.D. Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School. He is a Senior Editor on the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, and a Caseworker on the Innocence Project. Prior to entering law school, Michael graduated from Simon Fraser University.



Sujoy Chatterjee, Research and Advocacy

Sujoy Chatterjee is a practicing lawyer and public policy professional. He is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration. He previously served as Director of the Urban Law Centre where he led research on urban policy and municipal law issues. Sujoy actively participates in international development efforts through the Toronto-Calcutta Foundation as well as local charities that operate throughout the GTA.



Patrick Byam, Research and Advocacy

Patrick Byam is an Ivy League educated health professional with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors. Patrick currently works as a Senior Manager at the YMCA of Greater Toronto and is a 2015/16 CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow. He holds a Master’s of Public Health from Yale University and a Master’s of Health Administration from the University of Ottawa.



Hannah Ordman, Research and Advocacy

Hannah Ordman is a J.D. Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School. She is a Senior Editor on the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Editor at TheCourt.ca, and Chair of the Osgoode Feminist Collective. Hannah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia.



Andrew Newsome, Community Outreach

Andrew Newsome is a community worker who has lived and worked in the Jane and Finch neighborhood.  He received a Social Service Worker Diploma from Humber College and is currently attending York University. Andrew has extensive experience supporting and creating initiatives that engage with the lives of the community members in which he works and resides in. 


Harpreet Gill, Community Outreach

Harpreet Gill is a graduate of Ryerson University with extensive experience working with youth in Toronto. Harpreet is currently a Team Lead, Facilitator and Job Developer at The Career Foundation.



Chris Blackwood, Community Outreach

Chris Blackwood is a Children and Youth Program Coordinator at the St. Alban's Boys and Girls Club and the founder of Gentleman H.A.T.S. Chris is a graduate of Concordia University and is an active mentor and athletics coach in the Jane and Finch and Weston Mt. Dennis communities.