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Special Week at the U of M Will Combat Hate and Discrimination University News
For release: March 25, 2010

For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843

For the seventh year, University of Memphis students will observe “Why Do You Hate Me?” Week, which will run from March 28th through April 2nd.  Sponsored by the  U of M’s Student Activities Council, the observance will feature a series of events that address issues related to discrimination.

The main event will be an appearance by Judy Shepard, who lost her son, Matthew, in1998 to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate.  She will present “The Legacy of Matthew Shepard – An End to Hate” in the Rose Theatre on Thursday, April 1 at 7 p.m.  

Speaking from a mother’s perspective, Shepard has made the prevention of hate crimes the focus of her life since her son’s death.  She urges her audiences to make their schools and communities safer for everyone, regardless of race, sex, religion, or gender identity and/or expression.  Turning tragedy into a crusade for justice, and determined to prevent Matthew’s fate from befalling others, she established The Matthew Shepard Foundation to help carry on his legacy.


Writing on the Wall Project
The “Tunnel of Oppression,” an interactive simulation of discrimination, will also be a special feature of “Why Do You Hate Me?” Week.  The tunnel allows participants to “step into the shoes” of others and surround themselves with new, unfamiliar, unpleasant environments.  It will be on display March 30 and 31from 6 to 10 p.m. on the third floor of the University Center.

SAC will also host “True Life: Why Do We Hate?”, a multimedia roundtable discussion addressing issues of hate, on Monday, March 29th,, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the University Center’s Memphis Room.

Small displays will be located around campus all week, drawing attention to the issue of hate crime in America.

For more information, contact Angie Dunlap, coordinator of Student Activities, by phone at 901-678-8679 or via email at

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