CSU, Chico News

Aids Quilt Coming to Chico

Date: 10-11-2010

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Travon Robinson
CSU, Chico Office of Diversity

The AIDS Memorial Quilt, overseen by the NAMES Project Foundation, is coming to California State University, Chico on Oct. 20 and 21. The Quilt will be on display in the Bell Memorial Union (BMU) Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both days.

The NAMES Project Foundation is an organization dedicated to raising awareness of how large the pandemic of HIV and AIDS is worldwide and to counter the prejudice surrounding AIDS that still exists.

Other activities will accompany the quilt display during the two days, including a reception at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20 in BMU 210. There will be a short program featuring the Doing it for Justice Choir, a display of local AIDS quilts and refreshments.

Also on Oct. 20, the Butte County Department of Health will offer free HIV testing in the area between Glenn and Siskiyou halls from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The idea for the NAMES Project Memorial Quilt was conceived in 1985 by AIDS activist Cleve Jones during a candlelight march in memory of the 1978 assassinations of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The project was initiated in 1985 by Jones, Mike Smith, Larkin Mayo and Gary Yuschalk. Friends and family were asked to create quilt squares that honored AIDS victims. At that time, many people who died of AIDS-related causes did not receive funerals. Lacking a memorial service or gravesite, survivors often had only the quilt to remember and celebrate their loved ones’ lives. The first showing of the AIDS Memorial Quilt was in 1987 on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Support for the NAMES Project Foundation AIDS Quilt has been overwhelming, making it the largest community art project in the world.

“I would like to invite everyone to come and view the remarkable AIDS Quilt,” said Tray Robinson, director of the Office of Diversity at CSU, Chico. “It is an opportunity to experience an important piece of history. It helps communicate the idea that if even one person has AIDS, everyone in the community is affected.”

The display of the AIDS Quilt in Chico is sponsored by the Student Health Advisory Council, CSU, Chico; the Health Professionals Association; the Office of the President; University Housing and Food Services; Stonewall Alliance Center; Butte County Public Health; WellCat Wellness Connection; and the CSU, Chico Office of Diversity.