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November 16, 2012

Creator of AIDS Memorial Quilt to speak at Purdue on Nov. 29

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will speak Nov. 29 at Purdue University as part of AIDS Awareness Week.

West Lafayette native Cleve Jones will present "Stitching a Revolution: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt" at 7:30 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union Ballroom. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is being coordinated by Purdue's LGBTQ Center.

Jones conceived the idea of a quilt in 1985 during a candlelight memorial for slain gay San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. He created the first quilt panel in 1987 to honor his friend Marvin Feldman. Since then, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has honored the lives of more than 94,000 Americans.

Jones' memoir, "Stitching a Revolution," was a New York Times bestseller and he also served as a consultant for the award-winning movie "Milk." The co-founder of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, he has appeared on "60 Minutes," "Nightline," "Good Morning America," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Frontline" and NPR.

Sections of the quilt unique to the Purdue community will be displayed Nov. 26-30 in Purdue Memorial Union, Room 118. The entire quilt weighs 54 tons and is composed of more than 48,000 panels.

The lecture and quilt display are part of AIDS Awareness Week, which runs Nov. 26-30. The week's theme is Silent to be Heard. Other scheduled events include:

* Throughout the week. Vow of Silence. A verbal and/or social media silence for a minimum of eight hours, which can be spread throughout the week. To participate, "like" this event at http://www.facebook.com/silent2beheard

* Nov. 26. 5 p.m. Purdue Bell Tower. March to End the Silence. Participants will march to the Black Cultural Center, where refreshments will be served.

* Nov. 27. 6 p.m. Chapel of the Good Shepherd, 610 Meridian St., West Lafayette. Religious Communities and the Global Response to HIV/AIDS - A Conversation Circle.

* Nov. 28. 6 p.m. Pride Lafayette Community Center, 640 Main St., Lafayette. The documentary "We Were Here" will be shown and followed by a discussion.

* Nov. 29. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Black Cultural Center will host a health fair.

* Nov. 30. Silent to be Heard day of action. People are urged to wear red to highlight Purdue's commitment to developing students that understand and are aware of HIV/AIDS.

"HIV/AIDS education is critical to reducing the spread of this deadly infection," said Lowell Kane, director of the Purdue LGBTQ Center. "There are an estimated 1.2 million people living with the HIV virus in the United States, and millions of people worldwide become infected each year. These events will educate students and increase awareness about the history of HIV/AIDS, prevention of HIV infection and responsible decision-making."

Sponsors of AIDS Awareness Week include the Purdue LGBTQ Center, Division of Diversity and Inclusion, Division of Student Affairs, Purdue Student Union Board, Purdue Black Cultural Center, Purdue Student Wellness Office, Pride Lafayette Community Center, Black Graduate Student Association, American Pharmacists Association, College of Science, Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff, Chapel of the Good Shepherd, and Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry at Purdue.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu

Source: Lowell Kane, 765-496-6231, LGBTQ@purdue.edu