2014 Annual Report

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Annual Report

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A Message to Our Friends Global Reach New Statistics, New Initiatives Uncovering Asexuality The Show Goes On, With New Exhibit Our Partners and Leadership Council How We Invest Donor Dollars

Staff Jason Marsden Executive Director Robin Wood-Mason Deputy Director Brent Cox Programs Director Warren Greene Operations Director Susan Burk Laramie Project Specialist Sean McEntee Communications Associate

Board of Directors Judy Shepard President John Sullivan Secretary Greg Miraglia Vice President Randy Zila Treasurer Shirley Potenza Assistant Treasurer

Christine Romero Matthew’s Place Editor

Doug Sanborn Assistant Secretary

Brennan Johnson Events Assistant

Dennis Shepard Board Member Emeritus

Beth Seibert-Hoy Operations Associate Logan Shepard Programs Associate

A Message to Our Friends When we wrote you at this time last year, we were reflecting on momentous victories in overcoming the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. “Ex-gay” therapy was facing richly deserved new bans at the state level, and trans* children were finally gaining respect for their basic needs in public schools. We knew then that while we had earned the right to celebrate, there was much more work to be done both here in the United States, and increasingly, The barriers same-sex couples face in marrying for our LGBT brothers and sisters facing historic new heights of oppression and securing legal protections for their families began falling like dominoes this year and show around the globe. every sign of continuing to topple, state by state. We truly had no idea how much progress we would be able to report to LGBT-inclusive workplace protections long stalled in Congress and state legislatures have been extendyou just 12 months later. ed to millions of federal workers and contractors by executive action. Prominent figures in sports, entertainment and corporate leadership have come out of the closet either to acclaim or, even better, simple acceptance. You have stood shoulder to shoulder with us in advancing the simple notion that everyone, no matter how they differ from us, deserves our respect, compassion and understanding. Many years ago, the Matthew Shepard Foundation set itself the ambitious, daunting goal to “Erase Hate” from our hearts, our vernacular, and our culture. Your generosity and words of encouragement have made it possible for the Foundation to challenge discrimination, inspire personal activism and help integrate our community into the mainstream, where it belongs. We continue to build upon the successes of our long-running programs. Our public speaking engagements reached thousands more people in communities nationwide and, through partnership with our diplomatic corps, brought hope, advice and 2

2014 Annual Report

In all that we do, we reflect and draw inspiration from who Matt was and what he cared about. support to struggling activists and allies in Asia, the Caribbean and Mexico. Young people in ever-greater numbers took advantage of the resources, dialogue and original journalism that MatthewsPlace.com offers, and the site expanded its diversity even further, adding cutting-edge perspectives on trans* life, asexuality, and religious faith. And wherever they were in the world, theatre companies and students using The Laramie Project to spark community action toward greater inclusion found a helping hand, guidance and enrichment from the Foundation’s support program. But we can do much more with your continued support. We have debuted a new traveling exhibit showcasing dozens of touching letters from the public sent in the wake of Matt’s murder, expressing hope, a desire for change, and a commitment to play an individual role in ending hatred. Provoking both tears and thought, these simple messages will reach an even wider range of people who need to know they are not alone. And in the next few months, the Foundation will launch a comprehensive effort to help the federal hate-crimes law named after Matthew Shepard to reach its full potential

“Until we create a welcoming environment for our children to live in–whether in big cities or small ones–we will never have true equality.” – Judy Shepard to protect LGBT people from bias crime, not only through enforcement, but also training, prevention and improved reporting. In all that we do, we reflect and draw inspiration from who Matt was and what he cared about. As a gay man living in a less-enlightened time, he certainly chafed at the forces holding back the LGBT community and agitated for faster progress. But he also cared deeply about human rights abroad, a more responsive democracy, and the power of theatre to bridge differences. We are honored to keep those interests alive and bring about some of what we are sure Matt would have tried to do if he were with us still. You have helped us achieve that. We thank you and hope to continue our partnership with you for as long as we can make a difference together. With gratitude, Judy and Dennis Shepard, Co-Founders 2Matthew Shepard Foundation

Jason Marsden, Executive Director 3

In 1998, a violent act of anti-gay hate in a small Wyoming community sparked a national movement that said “enough is enough.” In the 16 years since Matthew’s death and the creation of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, our and Judy and Dennis Shepard’s message to Erase Hate has reached communities all over the world. In response to brutality, discrimination and extreme violence against LGBTQ people, Judy and Dennis continue to cross borders to share Matt’s story, fighting hate with their message of love, acceptance and compassion. As a small organization, we’re in awe of the grassroots efforts that passionate social justice advocates are assembling around the world. Our movement to stop hate, establish equality and create inclusive, educated communities is more global than ever, limited by nearly no border throughout the world. In this past year in their role as ambassadors for the LGBT community, the Shepards made appearances in Asia, the Caribbean and Europe.

The Shepards visited the U.S. Embassy in Singapore to honor the United Nations International Day of Tolerance.

Singapore November 2013

Taiwan November 2013

Global Judy and Dennis attended the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam and participated in a post-screening discussion.

While in the country, Judy and Dennis spoke with activists and teachers at the American Institute of Taiwan.

The Netherlands December 2013 4

2014 Annual Report

Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine was screened all over the world, including Amsterdam,Taiwan and Toronto. Here are the top honors the film has received in the past year: “Best Documentary” Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival North Louisiana Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Atlanta’s Out on Film LGBT Film Festival Cleveland International Film Festival “Official Selection” International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam Mill Valley Film Festival DOC NYC Side By Side LGBT Film Festival, St. Petersburg, Russia


Sweden December 2013

The Shepards met with LGBT advocacy organizations at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain.

Judy was the keynote speaker at an international LGBT conference discussing homophobic violence in Stockholm.

Amid horrendous anti-gay violence, Judy and Dennis visited the U.S. Embassy in Kingston to discuss the importanace of human and civil rights. 2Matthew Shepard Foundation

Trindad & Tobago April 2014

Jamaica April 2014


New Statistics, New Initiatives The Hate Crimes Statistics for 2013 have been released, and similar to past reports, it’s clear that anti-LGBT hate crimes continue to be a significant problem throughout the country. The current system of hate crimes reporting is completely voluntary, but 2013 saw about 83% of law enforcement agencies reporting, up from 72% last year. But for everything this information tells us, the missing information from the remaining 17% of agencies who aren’t reporting hate crimes is detrimental to our cause and the LGBT community as a whole. And we know that many of our largest cities severely under-report hate crimes of every type. When certain agencies choose not to report these crimes, the data becomes misrepresentative and hate crimes within these particular regions go undocumented and unseen.

Second only to race, hate crimes motivated by bias against sexual orientation make up nearly 21% of those reported in 2013. And, roughly 20 million Americans live in areas where local law enforcement doesn’t participate in hate crimes reporting. While any reporting is useful and encouraged, the public’s understanding of the actual state of hate crimes will remain unclear so long as reporting is inconsistent and voluntary. In the upcoming year, we are reprioritizing our efforts and focusing on expanding hate crimes prevention and strengthening anti-hate legislation, including making high quality and consistent reporting a best practice for all law enforcement agencies. Although there are modest improvements, there have never been fewer than three hate crime murders in any given year. People murder each other every year for their race, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion—or for all of them. In 1998, thirteen were killed this way, including Matthew, and James Byrd, Jr., and we can’t escape the reality that year after year we’re still losing family, friends and brothers and sisters of the community to brutal, violent hate crimes. As the Foundation launches its new hate-crime reporting and prevention initiative in 2015, we ask for your help improving public safety in your community.

Email info@matthewshepard.org for more information on getting involved. 6

2014 Annual Report

Reported Hate Crimes 6,222 5,796 5,928

Participating Agencies 14,575 13,022 15,016

Breakdown of Incidents 17 43 39

2Matthew Shepard Foundation

5 murders 21 rapes


Uncovering Asexuality written by Matthew’s Place Editor Christine Romero

MatthewsPlace.com is the Foundation’s online program aimed at LGBTQ+ youth ages 13 to 24. Now in its seventh year, the site has seen dramatic reader growth in the past year of nearly 380 percent. The site started as a place for young people to find resources and with a small crew of bloggers. It has grown to 10 regular bloggers and now also hosts the work of emerging journalists. The bloggers encompass a broad range of life experiences and backgrounds, including those who write on the topics of faith, being a child of lesbian parents, disability, gay history, self-harm, safer sex, gender identity, and being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. In 2014, Matthew’s Place offered its first in-depth series written by a young journalist that tackled the subject of asexuality, including coming out stories and asexual dating articles.

We were proud to launch our first indepth series, “Ace Talk: Asexuality Uncovered.” Writer Stormy Brink identifies as asexual and also has journalism training. With her combined skill and personal knowledge, we were able to present something new and engaging with this series. From personal stories to the politics to the asexual movement, “Ace Talk” was a comphrensive look at an often overlooked part of the orientation spectrum. Left: Original artwork by Stormy Brink


2014 Annual Report

http://matthewsplace.com MatthewsPlace.com is creating partnerships with other youth-focused groups, including Trans* Youth Channel, to increase the visibility of the site and help promote the Foundation’s work to Erase Hate. But beyond readership growth and statistics, there are stories from people that show the work of Matthew’s Place is helping break down barriers. We received a lot of positive feedback this year. One young reader said seeing the articles on Matthew’s Place has given her the courage to feel like she can come out. Others have shared that the resources enabled them to find help rather than continuing to harm themselves physically. Readers also have shared that the site has helped them realize that they aren’t alone in many challenging areas, such as questioning their gender identity or being bullied at school. This realization has brought them comfort during dark times.

Cultivating buzz with new, innovative stories The success of our first-ever in-depth series, “Ace Talk: Uncovering Asexuality” was evident with the response we received from readers on the blog and social media. @sacollinsauthor: brilliant work you are all doing. I am so inspired by it all. The Trevor Project: Matthew’s Place has a really great series on asexuality ... we really appreciate this post about asexual relationships.

Lauren Sekelsky: “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for supporting and raising awareness for the asexual community. So many queer advocacy groups are complicit in erasing or marginalizing asexuality. Knowing that you do support us, and being able to read the experiences and encouragement of others like me is giving me the courage to come out as Ace.” 2Matthew Shepard Foundation


The Show Goes On, With New Traveling Exhibit written by Laramie Project Specialist Susan Burk

This has been an exciting year for our Laramie Project Support program, with the chance to support more than sixty productions of The Laramie Project plays across the United States and around the world. I am privileged to be able to continue to provide resources, historical context, personal insight, and other assistance to directors and their casts. I have also had the opportunity to attend a number of these productions and help create a dialogue about the issues raised by these plays, where people witness and experience hate in their own communities, and how to find a call to action to create a more compassionate and just world. One of the most moving and emotional aspects of my work is hearing the personal stories of the people engaged in creating the productions, as well as those in the audience. A high school girl shared how her brother, the day after coming out as gay, found a note in his school locker telling him he should kill himself. Her response was to create an LGBT support group in her school, and secured grant funding for the effort. A young man in a community production told me how afraid he was to come out to his family, as his father was homophobic and very vocal with hateful remarks. Audience members shared their stories of being abused because of their sexual orientation, and how they responded. These are stories that come from the heart and make these issues leap from the stage into the lives of the audience.

Susan Burk, Laramie Project Specialist

Students perform The Laramie Project Nov. 20-22 at Westfield High School in Westfield, New Jersey.


2014 Annual Report

I am also working with expert educators to create a “tool box” and study guide for teachers who are using The Laramie Project as part of their teaching curriculum, and strengthening our collaboration with the creators of the documentary film Matt Shepard Is A Friend of Mine, as well as with Tectonic Theater Project, which created these compelling pieces of theatre. I am honored with the opportunity to meet and work with so many different artists and educators who are passionate about keeping this story alive. When I’m with an audience, someone always asks the question; what can we do to help? One answer is to keep the conversation going, keep the issues at the forefront, to continue the battle to replace hate with understanding, compassion, and acceptance.

Not Alone: The Power of Response We have launched some new and exciting efforts to create more ways to engage with this story. We now have a traveling exhibit of letters written to Judy and Dennis Shepard in the wake of Matthew’s murder. “Not Alone: The Power of Response,” created by Heather Hoagland of Ford’s Theatre, made its debut at Northwestern University near Chicago in conjunction with their productions of both The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. In addition to the emotional layers it added to the audience experience, Director Rives Collins spoke to me of the power of “performing in the shadow of the letters” and how profound it was to hear the voices from the stage literally reverberating off those powerful words. Photos of Not Alone:The Power of Response courtesy of Justin Barbin.

2Matthew Shepard Foundation


Partner Acknowledgments The Matthew Shepard Foundation would like to express our gratitude to our corporate supporters. For information about becoming a corporate partner, please contact Robin Wood-Mason at robin@matthewshepard.org.

National Corporate Partners

Corporate Event Partners


2014 Annual Report

2014 Leadership Council Anonymous Steven Alix Joshua Anderson & Eric Thorson Steve Arnold Raymond Baker Zeina Barkawi & Damian Sinnott Robbie Barr Vic Basile BW Bastian Foundation Paul Boskind Charles Brayshaw Margaret Briggerman Burr and Burton Academy Scott Case Toni Castiglioni Shelly Catterson Julie Marie Chavez Corp. Katherine Chill Casey Christensen Charity Bids, LLC Coastal Community Foundation Shane & Jocelyn Conrad Phyllis M. Coors Foundation Scott Coors & Dr. David Hurt Sherry Corday Simon & Amy Davies Dennis Dougherty Ellen English The Ettinger Foundation, Inc. Rich Eychaner Charitable Foundation First Congregational Church Wayne Flick Estate of John Fludas Franklin Foos Ford’s Theatre Simon Foster Fourth Universalist Society in the city of New York Crystal & Daniel Galles Mike Garrison Shana Goffredi Grand Canyon Performing Arts Brenda Greenlee Donald Grimm Gregory Gude & Tony Frier Louis Hall

Lyttleton T. Harris, IV Curtis Heard & Performers Helene Foundation Jill Higham Human Rights Campaign Shih-Fang Frank Hwang Iowa Western Community College Carmen Irizarry Angela Jaime Matthew Jenner Jim & Kim Johnson Bob Jolly Charitable Trust Michele Josue & Liam McNiff Julius & Simpson Linda Karn Patrick Kearney Garry Kief Kwang-Wu Kim Dana Kirchmar Thomas Knabel & Kent Allin Stephanie Ksionzyk David Kuebler Andrew Peyton Lampkin Patrick Larvie Ron Leshem Love and Pride Josh Marquette & Casey Nicholaw Cynthia Martin Jeanne Martineau Laurinda McDonnell David & Arleen McGlade Dinyar Mehta Metropolitan Tennis Group Charles Middleton MillerCoors Greg Miraglia & Tony Pennacchio Shawn Monaghan Jerome S. & Grace H. Murray Foundation Mike Murphy Blain & Ann Myhre John Naples-Campbell National Basketball Association Beverly Needham Mike & Cindy Nelson LeslĂŠa Newman

Matthew Shepard Foundation

Stefan Oehlinger Out Front Christopher Ott Katherine Ott The Ovation Company Pearson Education Shirley Potenza Karrie & Frank Quattrone The Rashi School Jim Reichert Kevin Richeson Cynthia Romeo Jason Rusk Richard Russell Roaring Fork Gay & Lesbian Community Fund Sage Hospitality Douglas Sanborn Everett Schneider & Robert Phifer Dennis & Judy Shepard Michael Sirohi Corey Smith & Jason Jacobson William Smith Arthur Spellissy, Jr. Rulon Stacey State Farm John Sullivan Eric Swanson Charlotte Sweeney Rod Tafoya George & Brad Takei Paul Tetreault & John Jeter Laura Tobey Tonamora Foundation Township High School District 214 United Court of the Pikes Peak Empire Andrew Vlahos Robert Werner Ronald Werner Steven Wigod Ben (Jumper Maybach) Workman Xcel Energy Kenneth Zamesenik Paul Zarzyczny Randy & Sue Zila ZBI Employee Allocated Gift Fund


How We Invest Donor Dollars The Foundation’s fiscal year is October 1 to September 30. An independent CPA audits each year’s financial data before we report to the IRS. Audits and tax forms are usually complete by May 15th. To ensure accurate information, this report uses audited, publicly reported FY 2013 data. Feel free to request more detailed information: contact us at info@matthewshepard.org or (303) 830-7400.

October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2013 (Fiscal 2013-14 data available May 2015)

15.4% 76%


Total Expenses


Administrative = $113,930



= $63,388


= $560, 984 2014 Annual Report

Breakdown of our Programs Expenses




Matthew Shepard Foundation


Matthew Shepard Foundation 1530 Blake Street, Suite 200 Denver, Colorado 80202

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