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Montse Martinez, Intern

Supporting the Utah Debate Coaches Association

By News

For students of all abilities, debating is a valuable activity in which it instills abilities that are beneficial in many academic pursuits as well as life in general. In reality, debaters build confidence speaking in public and expressing their ideas eloquently. That comfort speaking in front of others is useful in so many areas of life, from interviews to school presentations to discussions in college seminars. Debate gives students a rare opportunity to take ownership over their own intellectual development. And throughout the years of practice and competition, debate builds lifelong friendships and community, teaching teamwork as well. 

According to Ashley Anderson, an educator and coordinator for The Utah Debate Coaches Association, “debate is the type of program where anyone can be successful if they are given the right materials and resources.” By exposing students in elementary school through high school to the speech and debate world, the more likely they are to develop lifelong skills in the legal profession in their future careers. As a matter of fact, many in the legal community may have found their interest sparked by speech and debate. Ms. Anderson also stated, “however, debate is not uniformly implemented in elementary and middle school, which reduces overall access for Utah’s youth. There are a handful of educators in the Salt Lake City School District who are willing to create a digital curriculum for 5th-8th grade classroom teachers to increase participation in statewide events.”

Debate is important because it is not an honors class and you don’t need to be in a private school to get involved. Nonetheless, the more teachers are willing to work with students, the better chance students have at reaching their potential in the debate and legal field. The Utah Center for Legal Inclusion has had the great privilege to get involved in legal pipeline efforts by making a donation to The Utah Debate Coaches Association for their curriculum development efforts and supporting in their fundraising efforts to achieve their mission to serve students across the state of Utah. Because of many other generous donations and our commitment to fostering and enhancing a safe and equal environment, many young students may come to understand their potential in the legal profession. Reach out to for more information on how you can support these efforts and develop pathways for Utah students to join the profession.

Students at the West High Panther Pride Tournament

5th and 6th graders at the Alta High State Tournament

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Legal Workshop on Workplace Discrimination

By News

In their efforts to continue their dedication to strengthening and uniting the community, UCLI and Women of the World held their fourth legal workshop at the Women of the World’s office on June 29th, 2023. At this workshop, Laurie Henrie presented on discrimination in the workplace. She is a staff attorney at the Disability Law Center where its mission is to enforce and strengthen laws that protect the opportunities, choices, and legal rights of people with disabilities in Utah. During this session, Henrie spoke on discrimination, the basics of employment law, harassment in the workplace, and disability-based accommodations. 

Women of the world and UCLI were honored to collaborate with such a passionate attorney who represents an organization whose vision is to treat all people with dignity, equity, and respect. They provide legal services and advocacy for people with disabilities facing-disability related discrimination and barriers to accessing services. UCLI and Women of the World look forward to continuing with their mission to enhance the community’s knowledge of the law through their series of workshops. 

We would like to extend a great thank you to Laurie Henrie for her dedication to bringing the community together and enlightening them on the topic. We would like to also thank WOW’s very own case manager, Ghinwa Hneide once again for hosting this event and for translating the workshop into Arabic. We are also grateful to la Pizca Andina for providing delicious Venezuelan catering. We look forward to collaborating with WOW and other local lawyers to create a safe and inclusive environment.

Please also help us spread the word to your friends and neighbors with refugee and immigrant backgrounds; see the flyer below.

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UCLI and Women of the World Legal Workshop Series

By News

Women of the World is a non-profit organization that offers free year-round case management and advocates for the self-reliance of their clients. They believe that all women can embrace who they are, define their future, and change the world. UCLI is honored to partner with Women of the World this summer to host a six-part series of free legal workshops open to all members of the community. The workshop topics include: navigating the law in daily life, divorce and custody, immigration, workplace discrimination, general housing issues, as well as housing and rent discrimination. We welcome anyone who has an interest in expanding their knowledge regarding the law, and particularly those who have a refugee or immigrant background. UCLI strives to foster a safe and inclusive organizational environment for all people and believe that no matter one’s age, ethnic background, economic or legal status, it is important to know their rights. 

On June 1st, 2023, the first legal workshop was hosted at The Women of the World’s office and was presented by one of UCLI’s board members, Abby Dizon-Maughan. She is an associate attorney at Parsons who advocates for diverse groups within the community. The legal workshop was an interactive and informational opportunity for all participants to learn and ask questions about their basic rights. Abby went over rights to an equal education, privacy in education, what is informed consent, and interactions with the police. According to Abby, these are especially important to know for people of color who are unaware of their basic rights. She also shared how fulfilled she is by volunteer opportunities, like this one:

 “I recently had an opportunity to participate in the Women of the World’s legal workshop program. There I met with people from our community who are learning to navigate through and adapt to a new community. Being welcomed into this group felt a little like coming home and reminded me of the challenges my own parents faced when they came to the United States and had to learn how to participate in a system that seemed so natural to everyone else around them. To be able to provide some guidance, answer their questions, and offer some solutions to problems that many of us don’t have to think about as we move through our daily lives replenished my exhausted energy reserves. The appreciation I felt was heartfelt and rejuvenating. It reminded me of why I wanted to become a lawyer and an advocate.”

We would like to thank Abby Dizon-Maughan for helping us bring the community together and educating those who attended. We would also like to extend a great thank you to Ghinwa Hneide, WoW’s case manager, for facilitating the event and for interpreting the workshop into Arabic for non-native English speakers. Thank you also to Kafe Mamai, a Spice Kitchen Entrepreneur, for providing delicious catered appetizers for the event. Everyone’s contributions have created a positive impact by helping those who attended understand their legal rights and privileges in Utah. 


Join us for future sessions of the workshops, and spread the word to your friends with refugee and immigrant backgrounds; flier below.

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