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Cleve Jones, author and activist

Quatrefoil Library
Event organized by Quatrefoil Library

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“Some people witness history; others actually make it happen. Cleve Jones, by planting himself boldly in the eye of the storm, has succeeded brilliantly at doing both.”

That’s how Armistead Maupin characterized the veteran activist when Jones’ book “When We Rise” came out in 2016.

At a free event Nov. 2 (7 p.m.) at Quatrefoil Library in Minneapolis, Jones will talk about his life in the movement, the history of the AIDS quilt, gay rights then and now, generational divides among LGBTQ people, the advent of gay marriage, lessons learned, advice for today’s young activists, his current involvement with the labor movement, and much more.

Jones’ account of his years of political activism in San Francisco and the nation was dramatized in 2017 in a prime time ABC miniseries starring Guy Pearce and Mary Louise Parker.

Jones moved to San Francisco as a young man in the 1970s. He met and was mentored by pioneering gay rights leader Harvey Milk. Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and, in 1987, conceived the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, which grew to include 85,000 fabric panels dedicated to Americans who died from AIDS. The quilt toured the country, including to the Metrodome in Minneapolis and a giant 1996 display on the Mall in Washington, D.C., that was visited by tens of thousands, including then President Bill Clinton.

This event is hosted by Quatrefoil, an all-volunteer LGBTQ lending library that is also a center for book clubs, readings, panel discussions, drop-in groups and book launches. Located on E. Lake Street in Minneapolis, the library is open seven days a week. Seating is first-come, first-served, so plan to arrive early to ensure a seat.