“Slowly/ Over time./ One step at a time./ That’s how change is made.” Seven such pensive verses neatly thread through this multilayered picture book. Like the AIDS Memorial Quilt itself, last on full display on the Washington Mall in 1996 and now on partial display in San Francisco‘s Golden Gate Park, the book covers a lot of ground. Foremost is the story of how the quilt has grown from an idea in 1985 to a tangible national memorial for those lost to AIDS. (It weighs 54 tons!)
In this excerpt from Cleve Jones's memoir, When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, the prominent gay rights activist delivers a speech that crystalizes Milk's impact.
There are more than a few old photographs of Harvey Milk with a bullhorn in his hand — or else somebody holding the horn for him while Milk shouts into the mouthpiece, gathering a movement around him. “Harvey used many bullhorns over the years at many different marches and rallies,” says Cleve Jones, a close ally of Milk’s and a longtime LGBTQ rights activist, “but he only owned one himself.”
The AIDS Memorial Quilt—with 1,920 individual panels, each inscribed with the names of people lost to AIDS—was displayed for the first time on October 11, 1987. It has grown ever since.
LGBTQ+ neighborhoods were already dying. Activist icon Cleve Jones discusses how the pandemic will continue to transform them.
The activist, who conceived the AIDS Memorial Quilt, calls Harvey Milk, his mentor, "an ordinary man."
Cleve Jones, the man behind the iconic AIDS Memorial Quilt, is an inspiration for the new ABC miniseries When We Rise
The danger and politicization of Covid-19 mirrors the HIV/Aids crisis. But there is hope, writes LGBT organizer Cleve Jones
Legendary LGBT Activist, Author, and lecturer Cleve Jones talks with us about the gay liberation movement, the AIDS Crisis, and surviving and thriving through a pandemic. Nick and Brian were introduced to Cleve through one of our Leadership Academy graduates, Joshua Sanchez. March 31,2021.
Cleve Jones, AIDS and LGBTQ+ rights activist, discusses the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, the world’s largest piece of community folk art, and the parallel she sees between the American government’s response to the AIDS virus during the1980s and the current response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jones is this year’s Shelby Hodge Vision Award Honoree, presented by AIDS Foundation Houston, the first AIDS service organization in Texas. December 1, 2020.
How will COVD-19 transform our community's physical spaces? The legendary activist, Cleve Jones joins us to talk about what will happen to the gayborhoods, why we need to start thinking about the queer community in economic terms, and talks about the current state of the LGBTQ+ movement. LGBTQ&A is hosted by and produced by The Advocate magazine, in partnership with GLAAD. October 2020.
In this special episode of Queerantine + Chill with activist and author Cleve Jones (he/him/his), we compare the beginning of the AIDS epidemic to the coronavirus pandemic, discuss how the quarantine is impacting working people, and so much more. This conversation was recorded on April 5,2020.
The story of Gert McMullin and the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the Gay Rights Movement in San Francisco, Harvey Milk, The White Night Riots. With interviews with LGBT Rights activist Cleve Jones who worked with Harvey Milk and conceived of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and John Cunningham, Executive Director of the National AIDS Memorial. June 19, 2020.
Gallup has polled on LGBT issues since 1977 -- and some of its findings have marked the largest shifts in U.S. public opinion Gallup has recorded. LGBT activist Cleve Jones joins the podcast to provide context to Gallup's earliest findings, and discusses how Americans' views have changed in the decades since. June 26, 2019.
Jones lost countless friends to the AIDS epidemic. He became an activist after Harvey Milk's assassination: "Meeting Harvey, seeing his death, it fixed my course." Originally broadcast November29, 2016.
Cleve Jones discusses the past and present of the LGBT rights movement with Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson, including his belief that the AIDS crisis helped lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage. October 27, 2015.
Cleve Jones talks about the AIDS quilt (NAMES project) that he started, the politics surrounding treating AIDS, and the compassionate feelings that the quilt engenders (compared to American barn raisings). There is a postscript with Mike Savage from Dignity Chicago, a lesbian and gay Catholic organization. September 7, 1988.