Nubia Peña is the director for the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs whose mission is to promote an inclusive climate for Utah’s growing diverse community through training, outreach and youth leadership development. Peña spent the past 15 years working as a community organizer, advocate and ally for systematically marginalized populations. She also facilitates dialogues among local and national leaders on complex topics of inclusion and racial justice, working to create equitable access in services and resources for historically disenfranchised communities. Peña also designs and implements various workshops on creating culturally relevant, and gender-specific programming, specifically when working with youth and adolescents.
Peña is a former member of the Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys where she advocated for youth rights during detention and delinquency proceedings. She is certified by the National Juvenile Defender Center as a Juvenile Training Immersion Program facilitator. In addition, Peña is a national 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 also serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Peña has actively sought to bring awareness to issues of violence and systemic oppression through her professional endeavors and personal faith-based initiatives. She has a decade of experience assisting survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking and violent crimes as a law enforcement victim advocate. Since 2007, Peña has served as the training and prevention education specialist at the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA), where she developed trainings on youth advocacy for trafficked survivors, social justice in prevention efforts, and sexual harassment in the #MeToo era. In addition, she is also the founder and director of Royalty Rising Youth Ministry, a culturally relevant and gender specific outreach initiative for systematically marginalized young adults.
Peña received her J.D. 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. She was also selected as the recipient of the National Juvenile Justice Network 2019 Emerging Leader Award due to her longstanding commitment to youth rights, empowerment, and leadership development. Peña was named as one of Utah Business Magazine’s 2020 40 Under 40 award recipients and recognized among the 2020 Heroes for Utah Philanthropy Day.