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Utah State Democratic Hispanic Caucus announces Utah Diversity Day at the Capitol

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26 2014 10:50 a.m. MST

Gloria Arredondo, Paula Espinoza-Wells and Jerry Castro-Cayetano announce the date for the upcoming Diversity Day at the Capitol in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Diversity Day is a community-wide event that brings together Utahs growing international and diverse communities. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Gloria Arredondo, Paula Espinoza-Wells and Jerry Castro-Cayetano announce the date for the upcoming Diversity Day at the Capitol in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Diversity Day is a community-wide event that brings together Utahs growing international and diverse communities. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's growing diverse communities will have an opportunity to learn about the functions of elected lawmakers on March 7, during the second annual Utah Diversity Day at the Capitol.

The Utah State Democratic Party and the Utah State Democratic Hispanic Caucus invited the public to attend the event in the rotunda from noon to 2 p.m. that day.

"We hope to engage our state legislators in conversations with our community regarding health care, education, economy and work force and immigration," said Paula Espinoza-Wells, of the Utah Hispanic Democratic Caucus.

She expects specific discussion on the topics of income equality, access to health care, air quality, voting rights and education.

Gloria Arredondo, Paula Espinoza-Wells and Jerry Castro-Cayetano announce the date for the upcoming Diversity Day at the Capitol in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Diversity Day is a community-wide event that brings together Utahs growing international and diverse communities. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Gloria Arredondo, Paula Espinoza-Wells and Jerry Castro-Cayetano announce the date for the upcoming Diversity Day at the Capitol in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Diversity Day is a community-wide event that brings together Utahs growing international and diverse communities. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

"It is our hope that our legislators will spend some time with the organizations to hear about the needs in our underserved communities," she said at a press conference announcing Diversity Day.

The event is set to include a short program with messages from Latino legislators, as well as choir and cultural dance performances.

About 13 percent of Utahns are Latino or Hispanic, Espinoza-Wells said, adding that Utah's population includes people from places all over like Africa, Myanmar, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela.

"We've got a lot of people from different areas. We have lots of refugees that are here and that are in our schools," Espinoza-Wells said. "We want to make sure that we connect them so that they become part of our community and understand what our process is for government."

Gloria Arredondo, Paula Espinoza-Wells and Jerry Castro-Cayetano announce the date for the upcoming Diversity Day at the Capitol in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Diversity Day is a community-wide event that brings together Utahs growing international and diverse communities. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) Gloria Arredondo, Paula Espinoza-Wells and Jerry Castro-Cayetano announce the date for the upcoming Diversity Day at the Capitol in Salt Lake City Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. Diversity Day is a community-wide event that brings together Utahs growing international and diverse communities. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

— Madeleine Brown

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