Advocate Judy Shepard to Keynote LGBTQIA ConferenceThe regional conference hosted for the fourth time at Pacific from Feb. 20 to 23 will also feature a performance by country singer Steve Grand
University of the Pacific again this year plays host to the regional LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex , and Ally) Conference, themed "Reconstructing the Rainbow: Building a Brighter Future."
Steve Grand, the first openly gay male country music singer, will perform beginning at 9 p.m. Feb. 21 in Long Theatre. Admission is free and open to the public on a first-come, first served basis.
Advocate Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard and executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, will be the keynote speaker 9 a.m. on Feb. 22 at the DeRosa University Center Ballroom. Shepard's son Matthew was brutally murdered in 1998 because he was gay. While the Shepard family mourned in private, the tragedy quickly spurred a spontaneous, unprecedented public outcry from coast to coast. The incident galvanized millions of people and focused the nation's attention on the growing epidemic of hate crimes. In the aftermath of his death, Judy and Dennis Shepard started the Matthew Shepard Foundation (MatthewShepard.org) to help carry on Matthew's legacy by embracing the just causes their son had championed. This includes working for gay and lesbian equality, and helping to prevent hate crimes. Shepard is determined to use her grief over her son's death to make a difference--to do what she can to ensure that no other parent will have to endure what she has.
Paul Kawata '79, a Pacific alumnus with a bachelor's degree in biology and now executive director of the National Minority AIDS Council, will be the closing speaker at noon Feb. 23. Kawata received the Pacific Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service in 2012. Read more about Paul Kawata>>
The 2014 LGBTQIA conference will include a broad range of activities, including a leadership academy, educational workshops, receptions, social networking and entertainment. Pacific has hosted the conference, part of the national Enough is Enough anti-violence program sponsored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, every other year since 2008. Pacific's Associate Vice President for Student Life Steve Jacobson is the national coordinator for Enough is Enough. Jacobson and Corrie Martin, director of Pacific's Women's Resource Center, are cochairs for the conference.
Explore the past, present, and future of the LGBTQIA movement. Expand your knowledge, increase your understanding of the issues facing the LGBTQIA community, and find the tools you need to make an impact on society. Registration is 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, and 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the DeRosa University Center Ballroom. The cost for the conference is $60.