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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 15, 2004

Matthew Shepard's Mother To Speak Against Hate Jan. 27

Judy Shepard, mother of hate crime murder victim Matthew Shepard, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27 at the University of Iowa in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union. Admission to her speech is free and open to the public.

Shepard will discuss how individuals and communities can make the world a more accepting place for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnic background, gender, gender identity and expression.

Shepard's son, Matthew, was gay and a student at the University of Wyoming when he was murdered in 1998 after being brutally beaten in a hate crime. In response, the Shepard family began speaking out against hate crimes and in favor of equality for all people. Shepard has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of hate crimes legislation and has appeared in anti-hate crime public service announcements made for television. The family also started the Matthew Shepard Foundation to fight for the social justice causes their son supported.

Shepard's lecture is sponsored by the UI Lecture Committee.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,