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Cleve  Jones

Cleve Jones

Author, AIDS & LGBT Rights Activist

Biography

Cleve Jones is an American human rights activist, author and lecturer. Jones joined the gay liberation movement in the early 1970s. He was mentored by pioneer LGBT activist Harvey Milk and worked in Milk’s City Hall office as a student intern until Milk’s assassination in 1978. Read More >

Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in 1983 and founded The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, one of the world’s largest community arts projects, in 1987. HarperCollins published his first book, Stitching a Revolution, in 2000.

Jones was portrayed by Emile Hirsch in Gus Van Sant’s Oscar-winning film, MILK, and was the historical consultant for the production. Jones led the 2009 National March for Equality in Washington, DC and served on the Advisory Board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which challenged California’s Proposition 8 in the US Supreme Court.

Hachette Book Group published his memoir, When We Rise, in November 2016. The ABC TV mini-series by the same name was inspired in part by stories from Cleve’s book. With a screenplay by Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black, it premiered in February 2017 to much acclaim.

Jones lives today in San Francisco, California and works as an organizer for the hospitality workers’ union, UNITE HERE. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Reminder to Keep Moving Forward

When We Rise

Harvey Milk's Legacy

Harvey Milk and the Power of Ordinary People

Fighting the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

'You Have to Be Bold' - Cleve Jones on Fighting for Marriage Equality

We Will be United, We Will Defend Them

Speech Topics

When We Rise

In an emotional roller coaster of real experiences, Cleve Jones will take you through the gay liberation movement and AIDS Epidemic of the 1970’s. Based on his new book When We Rise, Jones shares how Harvey Milk became the first largely outspoken gay elected official and ultimately, his mentor. Jones keeps Milk’s legacy and that of the gay liberation movement alive by creating the same impact on young adults that Milk had on him. Jones’ inspiring words on the political and medical movement will have an important impact on future generations.

Stitching a Revolution

Connect with Cleve Jones