Alum Cleve Jones: A Passionate Advocate

Thursday, December 01, 2016
BAY AREA REPORTER -- Cleve Jones is a San Francisco star, an activist and grassroots organizer for 40 years who could only have been produced in this city. His new memoir, “When We Rise: My Life in the Movement,” is a love song to San Francisco, but a city vastly different from the one where Jones arrived in 1974. When Milk was elected supervisor in 1977, Jones worked as a student intern in his office and began studying Political Science at SF State. His on-the-job training as an activist came in handy as the AIDS crisis descended on the city. In 1983, Jones co-founded the SF AIDS Foundation, commenting that activists cried every day for 10 years. HIV-infected himself, wondering how long he had to live, it didn't stop him from continuing his social justice work. In preparing for the 1985 Candlelight March in honor of Harvey, he birthed the idea of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest community art project in history, to commemorate the thousands who had died of the disease.