Cassie Taylor joined the team at the ACLU of Utah in November 2016, one day before the Presidential Election. Cassie has been a performing artist and competitive pianist since she was 7 years old. She is part of the performing ensemble The Ladies in Red, and has performed in New York, Washington D.C., California, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Prior to coming to the ACLU of Utah, she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor on the Piano Faculty at the University of Utah, as well as the Music Department Chair at the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts.
During her time at the University of Utah, Cassie restructured and expanded what is now the University of Utah Piano Outreach Program, serving several schools in the Salt Lake City School District by providing free after-school piano lessons to over 250 children in Title 1 elementary schools. While at the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, Cassie worked closely with many young students in the LGBTQ community and helped the school educate others about transgender youth. She has often been humbled and inspired by the perseverance, activism, and courage of her students, elementary and high school alike, and she is proud to have been a part of their development.
Cassie’s performance, educational, and career experiences have exposed her to underserved and vulnerable populations, bringing the School-to-Prison Pipeline, LGBTQ Equality, Racial Justice, and Student Rights to the forefront of her advocacy. She is proud to be a member of the ACLU of Utah and its staff, and she is grateful for the opportunity to be learning how to most effectively facilitate change in Utah.
Q & A with Cassie
Why did you want to work with the ACLU of Utah?
When I decided to leave the University and the performing arts field, I knew I was going to have to find an organization that I could be passionate about, otherwise I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy it or be successful. The ACLU of Utah is the whole package. The more I learned about the vast reach of the ACLU of Utah and the influence it carries, the more I wanted to not only work here, but to be more involved as a community member in the issues.
What is the best thing about working with the ACLU of Utah?
I love being involved in an organization that is at the forefront of influencing laws and policies on a daily basis, and making a significant impact on the way we, as Utahns, are able to live our lives.
What is one thing that you are looking forward to over the next year?
It feels like its less about what I will do in the next year, and more about what the ACLU will do over the next year. I have been thrilled to watch the visibility of the organization increase so dramatically since I came on board, and I am proud of our work to engage our new members, involve our community, and make a lasting impact on our state.