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Preventing hate crimes topic for March 5 Hearst Lecture at UNI

Contact: 

Gayle Pohl, co-chair, UNI Hearst Lecture Series, (319) 273-6308
Chris Martin, co-chair, UNI Hearst Lecture Series, (319) 273-2788
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Judy Shepard, whose son's 1998 murder was inspired by anti-gay hate, will be the fifth speaker in the 2002-2003 Hearst Lecture Series at the University of Northern Iowa. She will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, in the Lang Hall Auditorium. Her address is free and open to the public.

Matthew was 21 at the time of his brutal murder, whose motive was attributed to his homosexuality. Determined not to let his fate befall others, Shepard and her husband, Dennis, established the Matthew Shepard Foundation, in their son's memory. Its main goals are to increase gay and lesbian equality and prevent hate crimes.

Judy Shepard speaks to audiences nationwide about what they can do to make their schools and communities safer for everyone, regardless of race, sex, religion or sexual preference. All proceeds from her speeches go to the Foundation.

A reception in the Lang Hall Lounge will follow Shepard's lecture.

The series is made possible through support by the Meryl Norton Hearst Chair in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts (CHFA), and created by an endowment from James Schell Hearst, author, poet and professor of creative writing at UNI from 1941 until his retirement in 1975.

CHFA, the Department of Communication Studies and the Department of Theatre are sponsoring Shepard's appearance.