Equality Forum 2008 Includes Conversation with Judy Shepard and National Politics Panel
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 rights. 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 www.equalityforum.com/2008. For more information about traveling to Philadelphia visit www.gophila.com/gay. To book airline reservations, visit www.southwest.com/gaytravel. 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
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