Our Mission is to Promote an Inclusive Climate for Utah's Multicultural Communities. • Our Vision is to Be a Model State by Ensuring Equitable Resources and Services to all Utahns.
About the Utah Division Of Multicultural Affairs
The Multicultural Affairs Office was created by executive order in January 2012. During the 2019 legislative session, a housekeeping bill codified the Office thereby renaming and structuring it as the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs under the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts, and solidifying its integral role in state law. The Division recognizes the importance of developing relationships with the many different communities throughout Utah in order to achieve its important mission.
The Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs is invested in promoting greater understanding of equity, access, and inclusion so that we can support diverse populations that meaningfully impact Utah’s educational system, growing workforce, economy, and quality of life.
Our vision for impact across Utah has translated into three foundational pillars: Youth Leadership, Training Resources and Professional Development, and Community Engagement.
The strategic model was influenced by our increasingly diverse and changing demographics in Utah. This has led us to intentionally focus on empowering emerging leaders and underrepresented communities to support a vibrant and thriving Utah for all.
Through dynamic partnerships that are committed to cultivating communities that celebrate diversity, we believe we can all do our part to ensure people feel like they belong and this is their home—a place to invest in.
Build awareness of pathways to higher education and empower emerging leaders to see themselves in spaces of achievement.
Training Resources & Development
Develop capacity building resources to promote an inclusive and welcoming climate in Utah across sectors.
Collaborate on initiatives that address the needs of and celebrate historically resilient communities.
MEET THE TEAM
Nubia Peña is the Director for the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs where their mission is to promote an inclusive climate for Utah's growing diverse community through training, outreach and youth leadership development.
She is a national training consultant dedicated to bringing awareness to intersections of trauma and the School-to- Prison Pipeline, an epidemic that targets our most vulnerable youth by streamlining them into the juvenile justice system.
She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in May 2016. During that year, she was selected as one of 25 law students in the nation to be recognized and highlighted for her social justice activism in the National Jurist, a leading news source in legal education. Due to Director Peña’s longstanding commitment to youth rights, empowerment, and leadership development, she was selected as the recipient of the National Juvenile Justice Network 2019 Emerging Leader Award.
In addition, Director Peña is certified by the National Juvenile Defender Center as a Juvenile Training Immersion Program facilitator. She has actively sought to bring awareness to issues of violence and systemic oppression through her personal faith-based and professional endeavors.
Preferred Pronouns: She, her, hers
Jenny Hor (pronounced “How”) is a program specialist committed to working collectively with communities of color to create spaces of diversity, equity and inclusion. She hopes to apply asset-based frameworks in her line of work to honor the cultural abundance of a community and to deviate from deficit-based practices.
Alongside her colleagues, she works to build pipelines to higher education and to increase civic engagement among diverse students through the office’s youth conferences. She also helps administer the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission.
In honoring her lineage and sustaining her cultural sense of self, she performs traditional Khmer (Cambodian) dances as a senior member of the Khemera Dance Troupe. Additionally, she received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies and Consumer and Community Studies with a minor in Political Science from the University of Utah.
Preferred Pronouns: she, her, hers
Rozanna Benally-Sagg, comes from a lineage of Diné (Navajo) culture, language, and teachings based in San Juan County (Utah). Her parents and grandparents instilled in her the value and importance of education that has remained strong throughout her life.
After earning her Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of New Mexico, she provided speech-language therapy services for 10 years to school-age children. Also, she worked with families in her hometown as director of a family literacy program.
She continues to be a proponent of educational equity and building bridges between community members and state government.
Special Projects & Community Engagement Coordinator
Claudia Loayza has a strong sense of heritage and desire to be an advocate for equitable resources and opportunities for communities of color and underrepresented groups. City planning became her conduit for this drive and she quickly learned that the state of a community lies in the harmony of its intersections.
She recently graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science where she studied the crosses between urban design and public health. In the fall, she will be attending the University of Utah's Masters in City and Metropolitan Planning program to better address disparities in city planning, health, and education from a systemic approach.
Reach out to her for any communications needs including website and social media requests!
Preferred Pronouns: She, her, hers
Ephraim Kum was born in Kumasi, Ghana and immigrated to the U.S. with his parents at a very young age. He was raised in Atlanta, GA and traveled to Utah two years ago to pursue higher education. Ephraim is passionate about advocating and creating opportunities for marginalized communities.
Currently, he studies at the University of Utah, where he is pursuing an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in Public Policy. At school, he is involved in student government where he serves as an Associate Director, and loves to promote inclusivity in that capacity.
The importance of serving and uplifting others, has been on the forefront of his mind since high school. Over the years he has spearheaded multiple service and community dialogue initiatives seeking to bridge the gap between diverse communities. He plans to pursue graduate school later in life, and hopes to make helping others to reach their full potential a lifelong mission.
Ramy Ahmed was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is the son of two Muslim Egyptian immigrants, making him the first generation of his family to be brought up in the United States.
Ramy uses his background, heritage and experiences as a guide to push him towards advocacy for underprivileged and underrepresented groups. He recently graduated from the University of Utah, in Spring 2020, with a Bachelors of Science in Health, Society, and Policy. He is looking to continue his education, and is planning on pursuing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management.
Ramy is passionate about finding equity in health systems for all, not just through health care, but also through systemic changes, including food systems, mental health, and youth education
Born in Argentina Mayra is a proud first-generation immigrant and student. She is a senior at the University of Utah and is majoring in International Studies with an emphasis on Global Health.
Her degree will not only serve her, and her family, but her community as well. With a small family of four, her mother’s dreams have been passed down to her. Family has always been the center of her life, inspiring her to stand up for undocumented student and immigrant rights.
She hopes to pursue a career in public health to promote health equity while maintain helping families as her main focus in life.
Maegan Castleton is a University of Utah senior with a deep passion for social justice and art. She is currently studying Film and Media Arts with an Animation Emphasis, which builds on her love for stories. Maegan hopes to blend her interest in the creative field with the drive to help others in marginalized communities.
Maegan used to be a Residential Advisor at her university where she learned the importance of community, education, and civic engagement. Maegan aspires to help the LGBTQIA+ community that she is a part of with these important pillars of life, and wants every individual to feel that their voice is heard no matter the identity.
Pronouns are She/Her/Hers.
Taysha Tiatia is a first-generation student at the University of Utah pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Economics. During her collegiate career, Taysha quickly learned how daunting navigating college can be especially for students of underrepresented communities. This led her to work in leadership roles where she could support students and help create an inclusive space for them. Through these experiences, Taysha wanted to continue helping students navigate and thrive in higher education.
In her previous job, Taysha worked with a non-profit aimed to help students graduate debt free. She partnered up with the Pacific Islander Student Association at the University of Utah to help bring this resources to students who needed financial support. Taysha’s focus now is to empower underrepresented communities, especially youth, in achieving leadership opportunities and discovering resources to achieve more.
Pronouns are She/Her/Hers.