Leadership Without Borders

For UW Staff & Faculty

Leadership Without Borders provides quaterly Undocu Ally training for UW staff and faculty to gain awareness and develop an understanding of undocumented students’ experiences as well as learn about resources, best practices, and how to be an ally for this student population.

We invite all UW staff and faculty to learn more about the experiences of undocumented students at the University of Washington and discover what resources and services they can offer through their programs and departments to support this student population. 

Since 2003, when House Bill 1079 was signed into law in Washington State, allowing eligible undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, the University of Washington has become the alma mater and continues to be the home to many of these students. Throughout this time, the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center has served an essential role in providing resources, support, and services to undocumented students, which now includes the Leadership Without Borders (LWB).

We encourage you to explore the LWB Office, our Undocu Ally Training & Education program, and all the additional resources we can offer you to learn more about the experiences of undocumented students and how you can support this student population.

FAQ: Undocumented Students

Q: Who are undocumented students?

A: A student is considered undocumented if they are not a legal permanent resident and does not possess a current green card, visa, or other form of legal documentation. The undocumented student population across the United States, Washington, and our own University of Washington, is diverse and embodies multiple identities, cultures, and countries of origin.

Q: Can undocumented students go to college?

A: Yes, they can. However, undocumented students’ pathways to higher education can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. For example, Washington is one out of five states that provide tuition equity and state-funded financial aid to undocumented students, while other states don’t provide any support or ban undocumented students from higher education institutions. You can visit United We Dream’s Tuition Equity for Undocumented Students page to learn more about each state’s current policies on access to higher education for undocumented students.

Q: What are the tuition equity laws for undocumented students in Washington State?

A: House Bill 1079, signed by Governor Gary Locke on May 7, 2003, allows eligible undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. Senate Bill 6523 (the Real Hope Act, also known as the Washington Dream Act), signed by Governor Jay Inslee on February 26, 2014, extends State Need Grant funds to eligible undocumented students.

Become an Ally

Register for our next Undocu Ally Training & Education program:

Quarterly Undocu Ally Trainings

Leadership Without Borders provides a series quarterly training for UW faculty and staff to learn about the experiences of undocumented students in our campus community, how to be an ally to this student population, and how to personalize best practices to support undocumented students.

All the LWB Undocu Ally trainings cover the following topics:

Focus Areas: Objectives: Facilitators:
  • Undocumented student narratives
  • Laws and policies affecting undocumented students
  • How to improve support services for undocumented students
  • How to be an ally for undocumented students
  • Case studies
  • Learning about the stories and experiences of undocumented students.
  • Become familiar with laws and policies affecting undocumented students.
  • Identify and make a commitment to use immigrant sensitive language
  • Personalize best practices
  • Magdalena Fonseca, M.Ed. Interim Director at the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center
  • Program Manager of Leadership Without Borders
  • Student Presenters from the Purple Group, an Undocumented Student Peer Support Group

Additional Information

The LWB Sticker: Upon completion of the training, faculty and staff receive an LWB Sticker to symbolize their support and commitment to work with and for undocumented students.Displaying the sticker in offices and other workspaces will help students to identify safe spaces and allies across campus.
The LWB Directory: In addition, we also invite staff and faculty to sign up for our LWB Directory, an list of every individual who has completed an LWB Training. This is a safe and efficient way for undocumented students to connect with allies across campus.
Customized LWB Trainings: In addition to our quarterly trainings, the LWB Office also offers customized Undocu Ally trainings for departments across campus as well as for other colleges, school districts, and organizations. You can submit a workshop request form here or contact us at undocu@uw.edu to learn more.

Why Undocu Ally Training

Undocumented students remain one of the most underserved student populations at institutions of higher education. Many of the issues impacting undocumented students are multifaceted and fast changing, which can range from accessing holistic health and wellness services to understanding how to access state funded or other sources of financial aid support. Thus, supporting undocumented students requires having access to a large variety of information and resources as well as a fundamental awareness of how to be an effective and sensitive ally to advocate for these students.

While the LWB Office will always be a space fully dedicated to serving undocumented students, our primary and most important mission is to work towards ensuring the development of a safe and empowering campus environment for undocumented students across the whole University of Washington. In order to achieve this, we are committed to providing staff and faculty with the necessary training, resources, and guidance they require to fully support all undocumented students.