Anti-Hate Crimes Activist Judy Shepard Bringing LGBTQ Compassion to Campus

Monday, November 21, 2016
Diversity Speaker Shepard

Never Forgotten: Judy Shepard travels throughout the world so that other mothers don't have to encounter the sorrow of having a son brutally murdered for being gay.

Anti-hate crimes activist Judy Shepard, whose son was brutally murdered for being gay, is bringing her messages of compassion, acceptance and inclusivity to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Monday, Dec. 5, as part of the institute's Diversity Speakers Series.

"The Legacy of Matthew Shepard" program will be presented from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kahn Rooms of the Hulman Memorial Student Union on campus. The program is free and open to the public, but seating is limited to 250 people. 

Matthew Shepard, the youngest son of Judy and Dennis Shepard, died in the fall of 1998 from injuries after being brutally attacked in Laramie, Wyo. because he was gay. In the aftermath of their son's death, the Shepards started the Matthew Shepard Foundation to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Meanwhile, Judy Shepard has become one of America's leading LGBTQ activists, sharing her son's story to encourage others to accept and love one another for who they are. Her book, "The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie and a World Transformed," an award-winning documentary, and speeches have educated others about LGBTQ issues across the world.

"Judy Shepard urges others to find their voice to create change and challenge communities to identify and address hate that lives within their schools, neighborhoods and homes. These are important messages that Judy will be bringing to our campus," says Janice Fenn, director of Rose-Hulman's Center for Diversity, which organizes the Diversity Speaker Series.