The Matthew Shepard Memorial Group held a press conference in the University of Wyoming Senate Chambers Monday to discuss the events that will be held on campus and in the city of Laramie to remember Matthew Shepard on the 20th anniversary of his death.

The schedule is not yet finalized, but contains events such as: UW President Laurie Nichols' LGBTQ reception, film screenings, panel discussions, and a candlelight vigil, and a concert from Grammy-winning group Conspirare.

"We want to talk about who we are today as a university because of Matthew Shepard" said Nichols at the event.

The university will also be partnering with the City of Laramie, Laramie County Community College, and Laramie High School to coordinate events throughout the community. During the month of October, Laramie mayor Andi Summerville will read a proclamation commemorating the 20th anniversary of Shepard's passing and reaffirming Laramie's commitment to fight hate and intolerance as well as its commitment to be an open, inclusive, and welcoming community.

Summerville reflected on starting school after the death of Matthew Shepard, noting that "This tragic event rocked this community to its fundamental core." Summerville also talked about some of the progress Laramie has made since 1998, including the state's first Non-Discrimination Ordinance, which was passed in 2015, and the introduction of the Annual Bias Crime Report.

"We get so bogged down by the tragedy itself that we need to step back and see the strides we've made and where we're going" noted Summerville.

For more information about the upcoming events, please contact Chief Diversity Officer Emily Monago by calling 307-766-6682 or emailing emonago@uwyo.edu.