Audette Shephard’s only child Justin Garth Shephard was born on February 21, 1982 and was murdered on June 23, 2001, at the age of 19. Justin had been one of Canada’s most promising upcoming basketball players and he dreamed of joining his half-brother Jamaal Magloire in the NBA.
Out of much sorrow came much resolve for Ms. Shephard, as she developed a strong passion towards helping youth and finding solutions to end youth violence. Ms. Shephard co-founded UMOVE (United Mothers Opposing Violence Everywhere) shortly after Justin’s murder. UMOVE is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization comprised of a group of mothers who have lost children to senseless acts of violence and other supportive members from the community
Ms. Shephard has received numerous awards, most notably the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding Canadians who make a difference in our city and country (2012), the Scotiabank Global Transaction Banking’s “Woman of Distinction” award (2008), the “Global Citizen Award” (2008), the African Canadian Achievement Award (2008), the Maja Award for “Woman of Courage” (2006), and the Bob Marley Award for promoting peace in communities (2002). Ms. Shephard was also a member of former Toronto Mayor David Miller’s Advisory Committee for Community Safety.
She is currently a Manager, Trade Finance, Global Transaction Banking at Scotiabank. Ms. Shephard continues to be a strong advocate for justice, for support for victims of crime, and for community safety. She also volunteers with the Seventh Day Adventist Church Prison Ministry.