Deborah Schaffer

Investigator & Analyst

Deb is an analyst and investigator with Towards Justice working in the impact litigation program on class-action lawsuits. She meets client needs and communicates about cases with our diverse client population in both English and Spanish. Her role also includes case research, witness interviews, new client intakes, case management, drafting legal pleadings and correspondence, docketing, legal calendar maintenance, court filing and other communication with Towards Justice attorneys.

Deb brings a strong nonprofit background to the Towards Justice team. Deb came to Towards Justice from the Littleton Immigrant Resources Center, the immigrant welcome center for the City of Littleton, where she served as a Program Coordinator and helped hundreds of green card holders to become new U.S. citizens. Her work on citizenship services included program management, grants administration, volunteer training, preparation to become a Department of Justice legal representative, as well as curriculum development and instruction in English and Spanish.

Before working in the Littleton Immigrant Resources Center, Deb taught immigrant adults for Littleton Public Schools in the public library. Her experience with other Colorado nonprofits and government agencies includes positions with Project Worthmore, US-Brazil Connect, Denver Public Schools, Front Range Community College, the World Affairs Challenge for the Center for Teaching International Relations, the Learning Source, Catholic Charities and Denver Urban Gardens. She has provided direct services to low-income immigrant clients from Angola to Zambia, including Belarus, Bulgaria, Burundi and Burma, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and more. Outside of the Denver area, Deb taught English to refugee and immigrant adults with Jubilee Partners in Georgia and has international experience working in Brazil, Iraq, and Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, she collaborated with UN organizations, local NGOs and women’s groups on the management of a camp of 3,000 internally displaced persons and developed an art program using local crafts and materials for children and youth with war trauma and disabilities. Deb received her Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College, along with a certificate in international development in the Human Needs and Global Resources Program. Born in Denver, in her free time, Deb can be found tending her plants, rock climbing, and exploring CO with her pup.

Selected Volunteer Work:

DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY COMMUNITY WORK, Denver, Colorado. Co-leader, January-April 2019. Led a community process to explore education and responses to the legacy of colonialism and the legal framework of the Doctrine of Discovery.
DACA RENEWAL CLINIC, Metro State University, Denver, Colorado. Clinic Volunteer, September 2017
CITIZENSHIP CLINIC, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Denver, Colorado. Clinic Volunteer, April 2017
NEIGHBORHOOD ENGLISH CONVERSATION CIRCLE, Denver, Colorado. Organizer and Facilitator, April-November 2017. Funded by a grant from the Denver Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs.
YOUTH RESTORATIVE JUSTICE, Victim Offender Reconciliation Project (VORP, now Colorado Circles for Change), Denver, Colorado. Board Member, 2012–2015 Volunteer RESTORE Restorative Justice Circle Facilitator, 2007–2012
DIRECT ASSISTANCE, Denver, Colorado. Rent and Utilities Program Spanish-English Interpreter, October 2006–2007, 2011-2012.

Selected Training:

Colorado Adult Basic Education Authorization, Colorado Department of Education, 2016
40 Hour Immigration Training for Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals Recognition, CIRC/ILRC/City of Denver’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, 2016
Legal Observer Training, Colorado Rapid Response Network (CORRN), 2018
40 Hour Advanced Immigration Training Understanding Immigration Law and Practice, Mennonite Central Committee, 2018