‘The LGBTQ Community and Civil Rights in a New Era’ Topic of Nov. 6 talk at CSUSB

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– “The LGBTQ Community and Civil Rights in a New Era” will be the topic of a Wednesday, Nov. 6, program sponsored by Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism and John M. Pfau Library.

The center will host attorney Cynthia Deitle, programs and operations director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, who will present the talk beginning at 3 p.m. in the university’s John M. Pfau Library, room PL-5005. The event is free, but seating is limited. For more information contact Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, at blevin@aol.comor (909) 537-7711.

Parking at CSUSB is $6.

The foundation is named after Matthew Shepard, who was a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, and was fatally attacked because of his sexual orientation. On Oct. 7, 1998, he was brutally beaten and tied to a fence in a field outside of Laramie, Wyo. He died five days later, on Oct. 12, at a Fort Collins, Colo., hospital.

His death sparked an effort by his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, to highlight the importance of standing up to violence against the LBGT community. That also led to the nation’s first federal hate crimes law – the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act – which made bias crimes directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people illegal.

Deitle oversees the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s hate crimes work, community outreach and other events. Prior to joining the foundation in 2017, she was a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for more than 22 years, including serving as the FBI’s Civil Rights Unit chief and assisting victims in high-profile terrorism matters.

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