Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, who died in 1998 after an anti-gay beating, spoke September 13 in the Kirkhof Center about her son and the foundation her family started in his honor. The speech was the first in the Professionals of Color Lecture Series, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
She said the two men that beat Matthew "learned it was OK to hate. They were given the impression that society condones hate."
Oliver Wilson, dean of Multicultural Affairs, introduced the program and said it fits with the university's goal of "creating a place where all people feel welcome and safe."
In December 1998, Judy and Dennis established the Matthew Shepard Foundation, to work toward gay and lesbian equality and support diversity education programs. Shepard serves as executive director of the foundation.
Judy Shepard speaks at a Professionals of Color Lecture on September 13 / Photo by Courtney Newbauer