Equality Forum 2008 Includes Conversation with Judy Shepard and National Politics Panel

Apr 30, 2008, 01:00 ET from Equality Forum

    PHILADELPHIA, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Equality Forum 2008 will include
 A Conversation with Judy Shepard at the National Constitution Center on
 Sunday, May 4. The conversation will be facilitated by Patrick Guerriero,
 Executive Director of Gill Action Fund.
     October 2008 marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Judy and Dennis
 Shepard's 21-year-old son, Matthew. Determined to prevent others from
 suffering their son's fate, Judy and Dennis established a foundation to
 carry on Matthew's legacy.
     "Judy Shepard is a civil rights hero. She has helped educate schools
 and society about the impact of prejudice. She has turned the homophobic
 murder of her son into a nationwide campaign for state and federal hate
 crime protection," stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality
 Forum. "Since Matthew Shepard's death, there are 34 states that have
 included sexual orientation in hate crimes protection."
     As Executive Director of The Matthew Shepard Foundation, Judy travels
 across the nation speaking to audiences about what they can do to make this
 world a more accepting place for everyone, regardless of race, religion,
 ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation.
 Speaking from a mother's perspective, she focuses her efforts on the
 prevention of hate crimes and respect for everyone.
     "There is an urgent need in this country to focus our attention on our
 youth, and make sure GLBT youth are getting the support and resources they
 need to live healthy and productive lives," says Ms. Shepard.
     Politics takes center stage in 2008, with GLBT civil rights a critical
 issue of the national campaigns. The National Politics Panel explores the
 November election, and what impact the winners may have on GLBT civil
     The National Politics Panel on Thursday evening, May 1 at the Prince
 Music Theatre is moderated by Kevin Naff, Editor of the Washington Blade,
 with panelists Andy Tobias, Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee;
 Robin Brand, Chief Operating Officer of Gill Action Fund; Malcolm Lazin,
 Executive Director of Equality Forum; and Patrick Sammon, President of the
 Log Cabin Republicans.
     Equality Forum presents the largest annual national and international
 GLBT civil rights forum. Equality Forum 2008 (April 28-May 4) in
 Philadelphia has 34 panels, 14 parties and 15 special events. There is no
 registration fee and all substantive programs including A Conversation with
 Judy Shepard and the National Politics Panel are free.
     For detailed information about all Equality Forum 2008 programs, visit
     For more information about traveling to Philadelphia visit
 www.gophila.com/gay. To book airline reservations, visit
     Equality Forum is a national and international GLBT civil rights
 organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates GLBT
 History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high impact
 initiatives and presents annually the largest national and international
 GLBT civil rights forum. www.equalityforum.com

SOURCE Equality Forum