The Matthew Shepard Foundation had an incredibly successful trip to New York City last month to kick off its 20th-anniversary efforts.
The foundation participated in two Laramie Project talkbacksone in Hicksville and one in Manhattanwhere students studying and performing The Laramie Project had a chance to ask Judy and Dennis Shepard personal questions about the play and Matt's life.
The foundation also had a partnership meeting with the onePULSE Foundation, a partnership meeting with the NBA and a press conference and fundraiser at the historic Stonewall Inn. In addition to the talkbacks and meetings, Judy and Dennis Shepard ( Matthew's parents ) were also the keynote speakers at the Queens County DA's event on conquering hate. They were joined on stage for a panel along with representatives of a diverse selection of minority communities.
The Matthew Shepard Foundation and the onePULSE Foundation will officially be partnering to raise awareness and effect change in relation to hate crimes, gun violence, and how they affect the LGBTQ+ communities and society in general. The partnership will include a monthlong production next year in Orlando of The Laramie Projectthe play about Matthew Shepard's death—written by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project. The two foundations will also hold a celebrity fundraiser and reading of the play on Saturday, June 2, 2018.
The foundation's fundraiser at Stonewall was completely sold out and raised $8,000. All performances were songs from 1998the year that Matthew Shepard was killed.