NWIRP places two members on key Shriver Center Leadership Program

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Contact: Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director, NWIRP, 206-957-8609


Seattle, WA- Board President and Development Director are part of the first class in state-wide social justice group
Seattle – Two members of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) have been selected to join the inaugural class of the Washington Equal Justice Community Leadership Academy, a statewide program developed by the renowned Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and the Washington State Access to Justice Board in partnership with the Alliance for Equal Justice. This innovative training program brings together attorneys, staff, and volunteers from the justice community, and advocates and leaders from community-based organizations to create a broader, more diverse, skilled and effective community of equal justice leaders. The program aims to support emerging leaders in developing a comprehensive set of skills essential to the exercise of leadership in a social justice context.
Abigail Daquiz, NWIRP Board President, and Michelle Muri, NWIRP Development Director will join 26 state leaders in the justice community for a year-long comprehensive leadership training. The class includes Tim Harris, Executive Director of RealChange, Jim Bamberger, Director of Washington State’s Office of Civil Legal Aid, and other leaders that reflect the various communities served by the justice system in Washington State.
“The fact that two members of our organization were selected for this important program is a strong reflection of who we are,” said Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. “Recent years have brought a new set of challenges to which the justice community must respond – including changes in need and client demographics, changes in legal services delivery systems, cyclical economic and political changes. Abigail and Michelle will bring their experience back to the organization and make us even stronger.”
Abigail Daquiz is a trial attorney for the Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor where she enforces labor laws in federal district court and in administrative hearings. She is a 2004 graduate of the University of Washington Law School and currently serves as NWIRP Board President. Abigail is also the Chair of the Filipino Lawyers of Washington Foundation. She was a Washington Leadership Institute Fellow in 2009 and was a Founding Member and past-President of the Filipino Lawyers of Washington (FLOW). She currently volunteers as an attorney for the Asian Bar Association’s legal clinic in Seattle’s International District. She has served as the Vice President of Membership for Washington Women Lawyers and as a member of the Committee for Diversity for the Washington State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division.
Michelle Muri has been NWIRP’s Development Director since 2009, having joined the organization in 2004, first as a volunteer but quickly taking on increasingly important staff roles. Michelle is on the Executive Board of Cedar River Clinics. She is a 2011 fellowship alumnus of the national Lead the Way Leadership Initiative for Emerging Women of Color by the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.
The Washington Equal Justice Community Leadership Academy is a transformative, year-long endeavor through which emerging leaders develop a comprehensive set of skills essential to the exercise of leadership in a social justice context. The Academy, based on Shriver Center’s curriculum and sponsored and hosted by Seattle University School of Law, has been customized for Washington State’s equal justice community to address interdisciplinary approaches to serving the needs of clients who are low-income or have other barriers to access legal and other services. The 28 leaders in the first cohort represent legal services offices, pro bono programs, courts, tribal justice systems, law schools, federal agencies, faith-based services, and community advocates in housing, employment, homelessness and immigration from across Washington State. Program participants learn these skills and concepts through a variety of activities and approaches, including four multi-day onsite retreats and web-based distance learningactivities between retreats.
For over 40 years, the Shriver Center has improved lives through the development of innovative and effective programs and policies that advance justice and opportunity.
Created in 1994 by order of the Washington Supreme Court, the Washington State Access to Justice Board works to achieve equal access for those facing economic and other significant barriers.
The Alliance for Equal Justice is Washington’s network of organizations providing civil legal aid to those with nowhere else to turn.
  • For more information about Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, click here.
  • For more information about the Washington Equal Justice Community Leadership Academy, click here.
  • For a detailed list of class members and the organizations they belong to, click here.
  • For more information about the Sargeant Shriver Center click here.
  • View a pdf of this media release.