Release Date: November 9, 2011
Activist and author Judy Shepard, the mother of University of Wyoming Matthew Shepard, whose 1998 murder led to passage of national hate crime legislation, will speak at the University at Buffalo at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Alumni Arena on the North Campus as part of UB's 25th annual Distinguished Speakers Series.
Shepard is the author of The New York Times bestselling book, "The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed," a memoir of her son's life and her career as an activist for gay rights. The book is the 2011 selection of UB Reads, a program designed to promote community among UB students, faculty and staff through a shared reading experience and related activities.
Determined to turn tragedy into a crusade for justice and prevent Matthew's fate from befalling others, Shepard established The Matthew Shepard Foundation to help carry on his legacy and has appeared in human rights campaign advertisements to urge an end to anti-gay violence and promote a greater understanding of gay issues.
She has made the prevention of hate crimes the focus of her life and urges her audiences to make schools and communities safe for everyone, regardless of race, sex, religion or gender identity and/or expression.
Working media may reserve tickets for the program by contacting Christine Vidal in the UB Office of Communications at 645-4607 or firstname.lastname@example.org no later than noon on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Reserved tickets may be picked up at the will-call window in Alumni Arena prior to the program. Media may need to show press credentials in order to be admitted to the program.
Press arrangements onsite: Charlotte Hsu, UB Office of Communications, at 510-388-1831, and Ellen Goldbaum, UB Office of Communications, at 716-771-9255.