Judy Shepard is the founding president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board of Directors, and served as its first executive director as well, from 1999 to 2009. In October 1998, Judy and Dennis Shepard lost their 21-year-old son, Matthew, to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate. Judy and Dennis decided to turn their grief into action, establishing the Matthew Shepard Foundation to carry on Matthew’s legacy.
The purpose of allyship is to achieve equity and inclusion. It is not to self-congratulate, promote, or validate one’s virtue. It is not about making yourself look good or feel good. And it certainly isn’t an effort to save anyone or any group. Allyship isn’t comfortable, it is not fun, it is not easy, but it is so very necessary.Judy Shepard
In her continuing role as board president, she travels across the nation speaking to audiences about making this world a more accepting place for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. Judy has also written a memoir, ‘The Meaning of Matthew’. Originally trained as a teacher, she holds a degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wyoming where she later pursued some post-graduate studies.