Shepard Speaks At Gay-Straight Alliance Event
By Delcie Kincaid
News Editor • firstname.lastname@example.org
Advocate and mother Judy Shepard was the guest speaker at the Aug. 19th Gay-Straight Alliance event on the campus of NorthWest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville.
Shepard's son was a victim of a hate crime in October 1998 in Wyoming. The impact of his death has led his family to crusade for what they believe his life meant – understanding and equality for everyone. Not only was this event geared towards tolerance for the gay and trans-gendered community, it was also meant for all biases.
"Matt showed me how good life can be and, ultimately, how hurtful," Shepard said. "He was my son, my friend."
A short film prefaced Shepard's discussion. The film touched on hate crimes towards gay and trans-gendered people and on minority races. The film also told the story of a black man, James Byrd, Jr., who was dragged to his death behind a pick-up truck.
Shepard's advice to the audience? "Educate! Educate! Educate!" And vote. "Get busy and work on somebody's campaign. We've moved beyond tolerance."
Visit the Web site devoted to Matthew at http://www.MatthewShepard.org/. For more information on the alliance, visit www.nwacc.edu/clubs or call Amy Robertson-Gann at (479) 619-2660.
Delcie Kincaid / News Editor