Monday, March 24, 2008

Shepard Symposium on Social Justice

The 12th annual Shepard Symposium on Social Justice, "Life at the Margins: Gender, Race and Class in the Global Era," will be held this week at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Once known as "The Symposium for the Eradication of Social Inequality," the event honors the memory of Matthew Shepard, a gay UW student who was murdered in 1998. The symposium steering committee honored Matt’s memory by agreeing to change the name.

Keynote speaker for this year’s symposium is Barbara Martinez Jitner, a scriptwriter and movie director who will give a free public talk Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m., in the College of Arts and Sciences auditorium. She’s an executive producer of "American Family," the first Latino family drama on broadcast TV when it debuted on PBS in 2002. As president of El Norte Productions, Jitner is now developing several feature films, including "Bordertown," "Zapata" and "Tattooed Soldier." "Bordertown" (starring Jennifer Lopez) is based on Jitner’s research of the Mexican town of Juarez, where more than 400 women have been murdered.

Among other highlights of the event are:

  • Wednesday, March 26, 7-10 p.m., in the Wyoming Union Ballroom -- A hip-hop event featuring Adrian Molina, Flobots and student performances. Visit
  • Friday, March 28, 5:30 p.m., the annual Cesar Chavez Dinner in the Wyoming Union ballroom.
  • Saturday, March 29, noon and 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 30, 10 a.m., the "Keeper of the Fire" Spring Powwow in the UW Fieldhouse.

FMI: Kate Welsh, Shepard Symposium chairperson, 307-766-2013 or

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