Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now

Annual Shepard Symposium on Social Justice Scheduled at UW

March 22, 2016
man sitting and holding trophy
Omowale Akintunde

One of the founders of the Shepard Symposium on Social Justice will return for the event’s 20th anniversary at the University of Wyoming.

“Reflecting on 20 Years of Social Justice” is the theme of the 20th annual symposium April 6-9. Most events will take place on the second floor of the Wyoming Union. For details, a schedule and to register for the symposium, visit the website at

Commemorating the symposium’s 20th anniversary, Omowale Akintunde, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker for “An Inaugural Ride to Freedom,” will return to provide a keynote address at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 8.

The symposium was begun by Akintunde and Margaret Cooney, two former UW College of Education faculty members. The Shepard Symposium has grown from a local grassroots event to an internationally recognized conference.

Originally named “The Symposium for the Eradication of Social Inequality," the event was renamed to honor the work of the Shepard family and the memory of their son, Matthew Shepard, a UW student who was murdered in 1998.

This year’s symposium highlights a Kara Walker art exhibition; a photo-ethnography exhibition; a variety of concurrent presentations and workshops offered by more than 90 speakers; a Friday Night Fever event with Mohammad Bilal, known as the “even-tempered, dread-locked rapper guy” on MTV’s “Real World III: San Francisco”; and a full schedule of activities at the second annual Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Day.

Lunch will be provided at GSA Day, with pre-registration, during the keynote addresses Thursday, April 7; Friday, April 8; and at the GSA Day panel Saturday, April 9.

Free registrations will be accepted on the main Shepard Symposium webpage.

Other keynote speakers include art scholar Rebecca Peabody; journalist and LGBTQ rights activist Masha Gessen; and global ambassador for the #BlackLivesMatter Network, Janaya Khan.

For more details about keynote speakers and other presenters, go to the schedule link.

For a complete list of events, concurrent sessions and registration information, visit the website at, like the Facebook page at, or email

Contact Us

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137


Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929


Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon