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Community Wide Events

President’s LGBTQ Reception
President Laurie S. Nichols will host a LGBTQ Reception open to all faculty, staff, and students. This will be the kick-off event for all Matthew Shepard 20th Memorial Events.

Wednesday, September 5, 5:30 p.m., Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center Mendicino Reception Area, 3rd Floor 


Laramie Inside Out Film Screening and Panel with Beverly Seckinger
UW alum Beverly Seckinger's 2004 documentary offers a deeply personal perspective on this pivotal chapter in LGBTQ history, profiling the community response over the year following Matthew's murder in her hometown. Seckinger will introduce the screening and lead a post-screening discussion with several key participants profiled in the film.

Friday, September 14, 6:30 p.m., Wyoming Student Union, Free


Scholarship and Research Symposium on Culture, Gender, and Social Justice and Diversity Awards Dinner
The School of Culture, Gender & Social Justice (SCGSJ), in conjunction with the Department of English, the Social Justice Research Center, and the Shepard Symposium on Social Justice, invites participation in the inaugural Community Conversations: Scholarship and Research Symposium on Culture, Gender & Social Justice.

This Symposium will take place at the University of Wyoming on September 20-21, 2018. The purpose of the Symposium is to provide those throughout the University and in the larger Laramie and Wyoming communities who do research, scholarly work, and creative activity related to culture, gender and social justice the opportunity to come together as a scholarly community. This free symposium will provide a forum for scholars in this area to share and showcase their work, to learn about and from the work of others within the community, and to gain support for their scholarship, research, and creative endeavors. A main goal of the symposium is to provide a forum for robust discussion and collaboration, where constructive feedback can be provided to participants who so desire.

Thursday, September 20 and Friday, September 21. For more information and to sign up to attend please visit:


Downtown Mural Tour with Special Mural Discussion
A walking tour of Laramie’s downtown murals, featuring a discussion of Adrienne Vetter’s “Wild West Social Justice” mural. Vetter’s mural features several figures of Wyoming history. It was first dedicated during Laramie’s second annual Pridefest. This discussion will again feature the mural and invite speakers to talk about Wyoming’s history and intersectional social justice. The mural highlights the Black 14, Woman Suffragettes, and Angels from Matthew Shepard’s trials, as well as several other often forgotten and hidden figures of Wyoming’s history. Discussion featuring several speakers will follow the walking tour.

The mural tour will start on 4 pm on Friday, September 28th.  It will start at the "Wild West Social Justice" mural, located in downtown Laramie in the alleyway between 3rd and 2nd Streets, and Ivinson and Grand Avenues.


“Angels” Choral Performance 

Live accounts from Angel Action Activists with choral music by the UW Collegiate Chorale, Laramie High School and Laramie Middle School singers will illuminate protection and support of fellow human beings. 

Thursday, Oct. 4, 7:30pm, Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall, free


The Matthew Shepard Story: In Conversation with Rulon Stacey
In the early hours of  October 12th, 1998, hospital CEO Rulon Stacey announced the passing of Matthew Shepard, followed by this emotional family statement: “Go home and hug your kids. Don’t let a day go by without telling them you love them.” In this powerful staged reading,  adapted from the Wyoming State Archives Oral History Collection, hear, in Rulon’s own words, how Matt's murder initially challenged his world view, and how Matthew Shepard's subsequent legacy affirms the power of love over hate.

Friday, October 5, 2:00 p.m., Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theater, Free


Saturday University: Matthew Shepard in Laramie and Beyond
Twenty years after it happened, the murder of Matthew Shepard and its aftermath has passed into memory. Many now living in Laramie or studying at UW were not here then. This special Saturday University presents three talks focusing on key aspects of that time. In the first, Sheriff Dave O’Malley, who led the crime’s investigation, will speak about the details of the crime and its legal repercussions. In the second, a panel of people who helped lead the community’s response to the tragedy will describe how Laramie reacted to Matt’s death and handled its aftermath.  In the third presentation, the composer of the musical work “Considering Matthew Shepard” and musicians from the choir Conspirare who perform it will discuss how the events surrounding Matthew’s death have become a performance of understanding and healing.

Saturday, October 6, 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. (Doors open at 8:30. Coffee and doughnuts available. UW Classroom building, Room 129 (9th Street, Laramie. West side of building)

GRAMMY-winning Conspirare presents “Considering Matthew Shepard”
Composer and conductor Craig Hella Johnson’s beautifully-crafted account of Matthew Shepard’s murder takes the listener on a journey of hope, compassion, and change.  Led from the piano by Johnson, Considering Matthew Shepard showcases the award-winning artistry of Conspirare’s singers with a chamber ensemble of renowned instrumentalists. This three-part fusion oratorio speaks with a fresh and bold voice, incorporating a variety of musical styles seamlessly woven into a unified whole. Johnson sets a wide range of poetic and soulful texts by poets including Hildegard of Bingen, Lesléa Newman, Michael Dennis Browne, and Rumi. Passages from Matt’s personal journal, interviews and writings from his parents Judy and Dennis Shepard, newspaper reports and additional texts by Johnson and Browne are poignantly appointed throughout the work.

The Washington Post wrote: “’Considering Matthew Shepard’” demonstrates music’s capacity to encompass, transform and transcend tragedy. Powerfully cathartic, it leads us from horror and grief to a higher understanding of the human condition, enabling us to endure.”

Saturday, Oct. 6, 7:30pm  Laramie High School Theatre

Tickets (limit 2 per person) are free and available in person, by phone, or online from the UW Fine Arts Box Office:  307-766-6666


Laramie Project Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Moisés Kaufman and members of New York's Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of Matthew Shepard. This is a film version of the play they wrote based on more than 200 interviews they conducted in Laramie. It follows and in some cases re-enacts the chronology of Shepard's visit to a local bar, his kidnap and beating, the discovery of him tied to a fence, the vigil at the hospital, his death and funeral, and the trial of his killers. It mixes real news reports with actors portraying friends, family, cops, killers, and other Laramie residents in their own words. It concludes with a Laramie staging of "Angels in America" a year after Shepard’s death.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Wyoming Student Union Center Ballroom


Matthew Shepard Candle Light Vigil

Join the Shepard Memorial Group, ASUW, Spectrum, and UMC at the ASUW Student Memorial Plaza on the University of Wyoming campus between Half Acre Gym and Prexy's Pasture for a candlelight vigil celebrating the life of Matthew Shepard on the 20th Anniversary of his death. This vigil will include speakers from the UW community as well as others who will reflect on the 20 years since Matt's death, and the impact it had on Laramie, Wyoming, and the World. Children and families are welcome as we honor and remember the members of the LGBTQ community we've lost.

Friday, October 12, 2018 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m., ASUW Student Memorial Plaza


Matthew Shepard Is a Friend of Mine Film Screening and Panel Discussion
MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE is a film about the Matthew Shepard behind the headlines. An honest and intimate portrait of Matt as he is remembered by those who knew him, it is the story of loss, love, and grief that does not go away. As such, the film will provide a proxy for a wide variety of people and communities to experience first-hand the devastation of intolerance, the power of love, and the beauty of compassion

Thursday, October 25, 7:00 p.m., Albany County Public Library

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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