UAlbany to Present Sexuality Week in Memory of Matthew Shepard
Contact:Lisa James Goldsberry (518) 437-4989
During the 18 years that Sexuality Week has been in existence at the
University at Albany, college students across the nation have been faced
with critical issues and choices related to gender issues, HIV/AIDS,
relationships, identity and reproductive health. In recognition of the
importance of these issues, the content of programs within this special
week will reflect key themes. In this way, UAlbany hopes to meet the
needs of students as well as to provide a retrospective and prospective
look at the issues.
Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard, will be the keynote speaker
for this year's 18th Annual Sexuality Week. Shepard will speak on Tuesday,
Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom on the University's
Uptown Campus. The talk is free to those with a SUNY or other school
ID or National Association of Social Workers membership, and $5 for
the general public. There will be a book signing and reception after
Workshops will be given throughout the week by professional health
educators on many topics related to sexuality. Sexuality Week is coordinated
by the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program at the University Counseling
Center, and funded by the Student Association. For a complete listing
of Sexuality Week programs, visit: http://www.albany.edu/feature2001/sexuality_week/workshops_programs.html.
Estela Rivero, director of the UAlbany Counseling Center, said, "Mrs.
Shepard's keynote will continue the tradition of the Sexuality Week
speakers by challenging us to think about and address an important issue
that we face as members of our society and community."
Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old college student at the University
of Wyoming who was beaten to death by two men he met in a bar in 1998,
allegedly because he was gay. After their son's death, Judy and Dennis
Shepard started the Matthew Shepard Foundation (http://www.matthewsplace.com)
to help carry on his legacy of social justice by embracing the causes
he had championed. This includes working for gay and lesbian equality
and helping to prevent hate crimes.
In May 1999, Judy Shepard testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee
in support of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. She appeared in two Human
Rights Campaign public service television spots aimed at curbing anti-gay
violence. In addition, she has become active in Parents, Families, and
Friends of Lesbians and Gays and she wrote an open letter to school
administrators that was included in a mailing to high school counselors
around the U.S.
For more University at Albany information, visit our World Wide Web
site at http://www.albany.edu.
February 8, 2001
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