UCLI’s Community Outreach Committee develops partnerships with local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other community groups, in an effort to increase proximity between lawyers and diverse communities in Utah and to better meet the needs of such communities.
The specific initiatives and partnerships UCLI has undertaken have changed over time, depending on context, needs, and resources. Please see below for some of the meaningful efforts that UCLI has taken part in the last few years. If you have an idea for a partnership or project, please reach out to .
Support to Native American Tribes
UCLI seeks to provide dedicated support to Utah’s Native American Tribes. In the summer of 2020, UCLI joined with the Indian Law Section of the Utah Bar and a number of other entities to raise funds and supply donations to provide Utah’s eight federally recognized tribes with food staples and hygiene necessities to address needs created by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
In May 2022, the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion in partnership with the Utah Tribal Relief Foundation organized a drive for the Gentle Ironhawk Shelter, which supports victims of domestic violence. UCLI accepted donations from members of the legal community and a volunteer attorney made the long drive to Blanding, Utah to transport and deliver the items. Cynthia Atine, the Gentle Ironhawk Shelter Program Manager said:
“Gentle Ironhawk Shelter and UNHS, are extremely grateful for the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion and Utah Tribal Relief Foundation for coordinating this donation drive. Many of our families in need will benefit from these supplies that you so graciously donated. Due to domestic violence/sexual assault, many of our families/children/individuals will leave everything behind and start over. Your donations will help our families get a head start on a new life. On behalf of the families who are here at the Gentle Ironhawk Shelter, ahe’ hee’!”
Read more here.
International Rescue Committee (IRC) Legal Workshops
In Fall 2020, UCLI began working with the International Rescue Committee (the “IRC”) to provide workshops on various legal subjects to refugee entrepreneurs in the Salt Lake area. The IRC is a global NGO that resettles refugees and supports their health, education, and economic well being. Salt Lake’s IRC office is home to an innovative program called the Spice Kitchen Incubator, which provides refugees with restaurant start-up opportunities. Spice Kitchen entrepreneurs navigate all the challenges inherent in getting any business off the ground, but with the additional challenge of doing it in a new country. Naturally, many of these challenges are legal in nature. UCLI has provided the Spice Kitchen Incubator program with attorneys who have held workshops introducing refugee entrepreneurs to various legal issues encountered by new businesses. UCLI’s volunteers provided training on business entity formation and employment law.
Proximity Task Force
In 2019, UCLI’s Community Outreach Committee launched its efforts to help the Salt Lake Valley’s homeless population. Spearheaded by Kate Conyers, UCLI’s Proximity Task Force had several initiatives whereby attorneys were offered valuable opportunities to serve and interact with homeless and other underserved and marginalized populations in Salt Lake County. The Task Force created regular opportunities for attorneys to cook and serve meals to people experiencing homelessness at the Women’s Resource Center and the Homeless Youth Resource Center. The idea underlying the spirit of the Proximity Task Force is best summarized by the civil rights advocate, Bryan Stevenson:
“To make a difference in creating a healthier community, a healthier society, and healthier nation and thus a healthier economy, we’ve got to find ways to get proximate to the poor and the vulnerable. I absolutely believe that when we isolate ourselves, when we allow ourselves to be shielded and disconnected from those who are vulnerable and disfavored we sustain and contribute to these problems. I am persuaded that in proximity there is something we can learn about how we change the world, how we change the environment, how we create healthier communities. I’m actually persuaded that there’s power in proximity. . . . I’m persuaded that we’ve got to find ways to get closer to the disfavored, the marginalized, the excluded, the poor, the disabled. Even if we don’t have any answers about what we’re going to do when we get there. The power is in proximity.” — Brian Stevenson, Civil Rights Advocate
Read more here.