Student Life Events

"Erasing Hate" with Judy and Dennis Shepard

Date(s) / Time(s)
DetailsSr. Camille Kliebhan Conference Center Campus Map

Cardinal Stritch University is honored to welcome Judy and Dennis Shepard to campus Thursday, November 1. 

On October 7, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, was brutally attacked and tied to a fence in a field outside of Laramie, Wyo. and left to die. On October 12, Matt succumbed to his wounds in a hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado. Matts death moved many thousands of people around the world to attend vigils and rallies in his memory.

In the aftermath of Matt’s death and determined to prevent others from suffering their son’s fate, Judy and Dennis Shepard started the Matthew Shepard Foundation to honor his life and aspirations. The Foundation is dedicated to working toward the causes championed by Matt during his life: social justice, diversity awareness and education, and equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.Since its formation, the Foundation has centered its efforts on providing a voice and support for LGBT+ youth with its online resource center Matthew’s Place, helped pioneer the country’s first federal hate crimes legislation with the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and create dialogue about hate and acceptance within communities with special support for The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.

By sharing their son’s story and their experience as the family of a hate crime victim, Judy and Dennis are able to carry on Matt’s legacy and help change the minds and hearts of others to create more understanding, accepting and compassionate communities. The Shepards have a unique ability to reach and connect with people from all walks of life to understand and appreciate diversity, with an emphasis on the LGBTQ+ community. They 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.