Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Hate Crime Film Debuts

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Hate Crime Film Debuts

Article excerpt

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The families of three murder victims hope a documentary about hate crimes that debuted earlier this month at Colorado State University will stop violence by educating the nation.

The film, Journey Toward a Hate-Free Millennium, was scheduled to premiere on the one-year anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who died at a Fort Collins hospital five days after being pistol-whipped and tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyo.

The film also tells the story of James Byrd Jr., a Black man dragged to death by two White supremacists from behind a pickup in Jasper, Texas, in 1998; and of Rachel Scott, 17, a Columbine High School student shot during an April 20 rampage that killed 11 others and injured 23.

Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother, says she and her husband agreed to participate because the film does not exploit their tragedy. It includes development of an elementary and high school curriculum and a nationwide speaking tour of colleges and universities by one of its producers, Brent Scarpo, 36, of Denver. …

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