NEW ALBANY, Ind. – IU Southeast is honored to host activist and public speaker Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. in the Stem Auditorium of the Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center on the IU Southeast campus. Admission is free, and the event is open to the community.
Judy Shepard is a leading LGBTQ+ rights activist; her son, Matthew, was tortured and murdered in 1998 because of his sexuality. Despite losing her son to unnecessary tragedy, Shepard marches on with grace and passion as she fights for equality through her various projects campaigning for equal rights.
Through The Matthew Shepard Foundation, communities are educated and able to participate in discussions on LGBTQ+ rights and the prevention of violence. Additionally, Shepard has inspired positive social change in the United States through The Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the federal hate-crime law to include crimes based on gender and sexual orientation.
Shepard’s talk is part of the Common Experience series, a collection of events hosted by IU Southeast throughout the 2019-2020 academic year under the theme of “Tolerance and the Struggle for Human Rights in Communities.”
“The purpose of the Common Experience Program is to cultivate connection through conversation,” said Emily Sheehan, co-chair of the Common Experience and assistant professor of fine arts at IU Southeast. “The Common Experience program is thrilled to bring anti-hate crimes activist Judy Shepard to campus. Her message of tolerance and social action is important for this community to hear. It is so exciting that the efforts and support of the university’s Academy of Diversity and Inclusive Education, Common Experience Office, Equity and Diversity Office and The Ogle Center has made this event possible.”
For a complete list of Common Experience events, visit the Common Experience website.