University of Pittsburgh
February 5, 2007

Pitt's Rainbow Alliance Sponsors Event on Combating Hate

Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, speaks on acceptance over discrimination
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's Rainbow Alliance will present Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in 1998, to speak at 8:45 p.m. Feb. 7. The free event will be held in Rooms 120 and 121, David Lawrence Hall, 3942 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Using the grief she experiences over the loss of her son to promote acceptance over bigotry and discrimination, Shepard speaks to audiences nationwide about Matthew's story, hoping to inspire individuals and communities to take action against hate crimes. All proceeds from her speeches go towards the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Judy Shepard and her husband, Dennis, founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation in memory of their 21-year-old son. The foundation seeks to "replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach, and advocacy programs and by continuing to share Matthew's story. The foundation focuses on erasing hate; putting the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender youth first; and ensuring equality amongst all people.