Gay activist Cleve Jones in town to promote National Equality March | Bleader

Gay activist Cleve Jones in town to promote National Equality March



Noted gay activist Cleve Jones—a close associate of Harvey Milk's and founder of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt—will be in Chicago Saturday, August 29, to promote the upcoming National Equality March for LGBT rights taking place the weekend of October 10 in Washington, D.C.

Jones will appear at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, under the auspices of Join the Impact Chicago (, a grassroots organization coordinating local planning for the October march. He will discuss "the history and current state of the movement for equal rights in the run-up to the national demonstration," according to a press release.

Jones, who hails from West Lafayette, Indiana, became a gay activist in the 1970s when he worked on Harvey Milk's campaign for San Francisco City Supervisor. After Milk's 1978 assassination, Jones continued working in gay politics, cofounding the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in 1983. In 1985 he conceived the idea for an AIDS memorial quilt as an international community arts project to raise awareness of the AIDS crisis.

Jones was also a driving force behind Milk, Gus Van Sant's 2008 film biography of Jones's mentor Harvey Milk. In the movie, Jones is portrayed by Emile Hirsch.

An Evening with Cleve Jones: The Struggle for LGBT Civil Rights will also include performance pieces by members of Young Chicago Authors on the theme of LGBT rights. The event—cosponsored by Haymarket Books (, Young Chicago Authors (, and Chicago Public Radio (—will raise funds to provide buses from Chicago to the October LGBT rights march. A $5 suggested donation is requested. For more information, contact Sarah Macaraeg at or 312-315-8476.