Political Science Alum Cleve Jones Launched AIDS Memorial Quilt

Thursday, June 03, 2021

BIOGRAPHY -- Cleve Jones is an LGBT activist who initiated the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, an endeavor that brought attention to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and ’90s. “Everyone told me it wouldn’t work,” he said of the quilt in 2017. “But it ended up being the largest community-arts project in the world and touched the hearts of tens of millions of people across the planet.” In the 1970s, Jones was mentored by gay politician Harvey Milk; he later served as a consultant for the 2008 film “Milk.” Jones’ memoir “When We Rise: My Life In The Movement” was published in 2016; it served as inspiration for a miniseries of the same name that aired in 2017.

Jones moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s. There, he interned for Milk, a barrier-breaking openly gay politician, while also studying Political Science at San Francisco State University.