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An Evening to Benefit the
Matthew Shepard Foundation

Friday, August 13, 2021

Guests and performers:

Judy Shepard, guest speaker
Dennis Shepard, guest speaker
Claybourne Elder, vocalist
Sister Roma, emcee
Katy Stephan, pianist

ABOUT THE MATTHEW SHEPARD FOUNDATION

 

The Matthew Shepard Foundation’s mission is to amplify the story of Matthew Shepard to inspire individuals, organizations and communities to embrace the dignity and equality of all people. Through local, regional and national outreach, we empower individuals to find their voice to create change and challenge communities to identify and address hate that lives within their schools, neighborhoods and homes.

 

Our work is an extension of Matt’s passion to foster a more caring and just world. We share his story and embody his vigor for civil rights to change the hearts and minds of others to accept everyone as they are.

 

To learn more visit matthewshepard.org

JUDY SHEPARD
 

In October 1998, Judy and Dennis Shepard lost their 21-year-old son, Matthew, to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate. Matthew’s death moved many thousands of people around the world to attend vigils and rallies in his memory. Determined to
prevent others from suffering their son’s fate, Judy and Dennis decided to turn their grief into action and established the Matthew Shepard Foundation to carry on Matthew’s legacy. The Foundation is dedicated to working toward the causes championed by Matthew during his life: social justice, diversity awareness & education, and equality for gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender people. Judy Shepard is the founding president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board of Directors, and served as its first executive director as well, from 1999 to 2009. In her continuing role as board president, she travels across the nation speaking to audiences about what they can do as individuals and communities to make this world a more accepting place for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. Speaking from a mother’s perspective, Judy also authored a 2009 memoir, “The Meaning of Matthew,” exploring the family’s journey through the prosecution of Matthew’s assailants, the ensuing media coverage, and their continuing work to advance civil rights. Originally trained as a teacher, Mrs. Shepard holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wyoming where she later pursued some post-graduate studies. She and Dennis continue to make their home in Casper, Wyoming.

DENNIS SHEPARD

Dennis is the father of Matthew Shepard and has been an advocate for parents’ unconditional love for their LGBT children both during Matt’s life and, very publicly, since the hate-motivated murder in Laramie, Wyoming, which took Matt’s life at age 21. Born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Dennis earned a degree in education from the University of Wyoming before marrying Judy in 1973 and settling in Casper, Wyoming, to raise their family. An oil industry safety specialist, Dennis worked for more than 16 years in safety operations for Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, before retiring from that position in 2009. He has served on the Matthew Shepard Foundation board of directors since the organization’s inception, and currently speaks to audiences around the country, particularly to victims’ advocacy organizations and law enforcement audiences about his experiences and the importance of equal treatment of LGBT crime victims and their loved ones. He and Judy continue to live and work in Casper.

SISTER ROMA

One of the of most outspoken and highly visible members of the infamous Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence in San Francisco, Sister Roma is recognized around the globe as an activist, fundraiser, public speaker, Master of Ceremonies, and glamorous clown. Since taking her vows she has been on the front lines in the war against HIV and AIDS as an educator, activist and fundraiser helping to raise over $1 million for the LGBTQ global community. Sister Roma is the creator and advocate of the Sisters’ Stop The Violence Campaign and most recently she gained international attention as the drag queen who took on Facebook and won - creating the  #MyNameIs movement in protest of Facebook's “Real” Name Policy fighting for the right of everyone to self-identify on the world’s largest social networking platform.

Special thanks to our event sponsors:

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