The Utah Prison Education Project (UPEP) became an instant passion project for all of us in Women in Business (WIB). For WIB, an organization that focuses on the professional and personal development of female-identifying students at the University of Utah, it only made sense for us to expand our scope to the professional and personal development of incarcerated students. This became especially true as we learned that incarcerated students differentially want to major in business. We felt it was important to not only raise money to support UPEP, but to also educate and raise awareness about the need for higher education in prisons.

Faced with a COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to meet in person, WIB partnered with Business Leaders Inc. (BLinc.) to host events that connected and unified people with a sole purpose: the importance of education on this important topic. Members of the community came together to view the incredible “13th” documentary and have the hard but necessary discussions that occurred in our book club meetings surrounding the book “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do” by Jennifer L. Eberhardt. The passion of our community that both participated in our events and donated to the cause has been inspiring and creates hope for the future.

We raised more than $4,200, and every person who worked to put this fundraiser together, who has now interacted with UPEP for the first time, and has witnessed the amazing things UPEP does, has been impacted for the better. We are passionate about UPEP and will continue to support this amazing cause in all ways that are possible. The interactions we have with UPEP make us more compassionate people focused on unifying the human race.

About the Author
McKenna Evans is a Marketing major at the David Eccles School of Business. McKenna was drawn to Women In Business because of her experience working with female entrepreneurs along with starting her own business. She is inspired by the motivated women around her and wants to encourage all women to chase their dreams and accomplish their goals.