Judy Shepard Invitation 2003

You are cordially invited to an hour with Mrs. Judy Shepard

Activist and Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation

Monday, June 16, 2003 12:45 PM

The Dean Acheson Auditorium

Department of State Harry Truman Building 2201 C Street, NW

Reception to follow in the Delegates Lounge

Many people are familiar with the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Matthew Shepard, whose 1998 murder was motivated soley by his sexual orientation. Fewer realize Matthew had lived and studied overseas, was fluent in Arabic and German, and long dreamed of joining the U.S. Foreign Service. Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) and the State Department Office of Civil Rights are honored to host an hour with Mrs. Judy Shepard. In the years since her son’s death, Mrs. Shepard has become an outspoken activist against hate crimes and on behalf of equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation. In December 1998, she and her husband, Dennis, founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation to help champion these and other just causes Matt embraced. She has appeared in widely-aired public service television spots and testified in the US Congress in support of hate crimes legislation. She has spoken to audiences throughout the US and around the world. Matthew Shepard’s death and the response from the community and the nation have been the topics of numerous documentaries and dramas, including the play “The Laramie Project,” which was adapted into a groundbreaking film produced by HBO. In 2002, Stockard Channing received an Emmy as best actress in a television movie for her portrayal of Judy Shepard in “The Matthew Shepard Story.” Given Matthew’s dream, Mrs. Shepard volunteered to travel from Wyoming soley for this event, which is taking place in commemoration of June Gay Pride Month. All interested USG personnel, other GLOBE organizations, and friends and family are warmly invited. Individuals who do not have State Department badges should send an e-mail with their names, social security numbers, dates of birth, and nationalities by COB Thursday, June 12 to postjr@state.gov. Those without badges should arrive absolutely no later than 1/2 hour early with a government-issued ID at the 23rd Street Entrance of the Harry Truman Building (Main State). The doors will be open beginning at 11:45. Mrs. Shepard’s presentation will be preceded by a short performance by the GLASS (Gay, Lesbian and Supportive Singers) Youth Chorus from Vancouver, Canada. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington is bringing GLASS from Vancouver to take part in the Pride concert, “Everything Possible,” at the Kennedy Center on Saturday, June 14. The event will be followed by a reception in the State Department Delegates Lounge, across from the auditorium. Special thanks to the Human Rights Campaign for their support for this event.