Like all social justice movements, the LGBT movement is an intergenerational struggle. Young leaders and activists play a vital role in advancing the cause. Each year, the Matthew Shepard Foundation honors a young activist with the Spirit of Matthew Award.
“Matt never doubted he could play an important role in changing a person’s life for the better. He is remembered by family and friends as a person who was unwilling to let the world’s powers and leaders settle for less than what their people and the human race deserves,” leaders of the organization said in a statement. “We present this award in an effort to encourage the restless, creative, impatient desire for change that was so much a part of who Matt was and will always be.”
The award is presented to one young LGBT or allied youth who is working to erase hate, based on sexual orientation or gender identity; those young people who stand up for what is right, and who further the work of the Foundation by teaching diversity, acceptance and understanding through their words and actions.
The group is seeking nominations for this year’s gala scheduled in October.
If you know a young person who is teaching diversity, acceptance and understanding, they are asking you to nominate them at MatthewsPlace.com by Aug. 15.
You can also email Robin Wood with 500 words about the work the young person is doing, as well as the nominee’s and nominator’s contact information.