Towson University’s Center for Student Diversity is hosting long-time activist Cleve Jones on October 18th for An Evening with Cleve Jones: Four Decades of Activism. The Director of LGBT Student Development at Towson, Maren Greathouse, notes that the goal of the Center for Student Diversity this year is to promote action among the students. “We strive to get students to see themselves as agents of change…Cleve [Jones] is a great youth motivator,” says Greathouse. The Center for Student Diversity’s theme for this year’s Diversity Speaker Series is “If Not Me, Who? If Not Now, When?” and this guided the decision to schedule Jones for the fall keynote.

Jones is an international HIV/AIDS activist and a leader in the LGBT rights movement. In 1982 he cofounded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and in 1987 Jones began the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Now weighing 54 tons, the panels of the Quilt make up the world’s largest piece of community folk art. For more than two decades, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has served as a moving tribute to persons lost to AIDS and has had a powerful impact in its ability to raise awareness and educate.

More recently in 2009, Cleve Jones co-chaired the National Equality March for LGBT Rights. Towson University’s Greathouse acknowledges that many students, especially students in the LGBT community, will initially make the connection between Jones and the Equality March last October, saying they tend to be “less connected to the AIDS crisis” and the longer history of the movement for LGBT rights. Cleve Jones was also portrayed in the recent film Milk, a biopic on slain, openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk. The Center for Student Diversity hopes the visit by Jones will encourage students to not shy away from activism. Jones will talk about his achievements over the past four decades and passion for grassroots movement, and how students can use their own passions to bring about social change. In addition to inspiring a new generation of leaders and activists, the event may also serve to keep people aware of the ongoing HIV and AIDS crisis.


What:An Evening with Cleve Jones: Four Decades of Activism
Where: Towson University
University Union, Potomac Lounge
When: Monday, October 18, 7:00 p.m. Doors open for Towson students at 6:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m. for the general public.
Tickets: Admission is free
Info: (410) 704-2051


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