National AIDS Memorial, Southern AIDS Coalition Announce $100k Relief Fund, Quilt Coming to Two Museums
September 13, 2022
The National AIDS Memorial and Southern AIDS Coalition has announced the creation of a $100,000 relief fund, through the generosity of Gilead Sciences, to provide funding to support community-based HIV/AIDS organizations in the Jackson area impacted by the ongoing infrastructural water crisis. The funds will provide critical resources to help constituents who have been affected and, are need care and services.
The relief fund is part of a new initiative, Change the Pattern, created to share the power of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in communities throughout the Southern U.S. and to reimagine the response to the HIV epidemic in the South. It is also a call to action to disrupt systemic issues that impact health equity, which disproportionately impacts communities of color and marginalized populations.
Also announced as part of the initiative is the first major "Change the Pattern" Quilt display in Jackson and surrounding areas from September 28 to October 4, with a week of free community events and programs. Thanks to the partnership, museum admission will be free on October 1 & 2. This is the same date the Mississippi Capital City Pride "Coming Home With Pride" weekend takes place.
More than 500 hand-stitched Quilt panels will be on display honoring Black, and Brown lives lost to AIDS, many newly made in Mississippi and seen for the first time publicly. It will be the largest display of the Quilt ever in Mississippi. Patrons can view the Quilt at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Jackson Medical Mall, and other Jackson and Delta locations.
"We know the Quilt has always been a powerful teaching tool for justice, advocacy and service," said National AIDS Memorial Duane Cramer. "We're honored to bring many of the stories of those Black and Brown individuals in the Jackson community and throughout the state to share and celebrate the lives of those lost and those living and thriving with HIV."
Over 500 hand-stitched panels will be on display, including a number of panels made locally.
"Through this initiative, Jackson will make an impact on the legacy, and we are increasing the footprint forever for people of color who have died of AIDS," said Jason McCarty, Executive Director of MS Capital City Pride.
The Quilt displays will include free educational forums, health screenings, advocacy, and quilt panel-making. Programming will consist of conversations on topics of importance to the community: health disparities, rising HIV diagnoses, environmental justice and the stigma that persists today in the long struggle for health and social justice in the South. Accompanying the Quilt displays will be powerfully curated stories that share the love, remembrance, pain, and celebration sewed into each Quilt panel of lives lost from within the Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Transgender and other marginalized communities.
Learn more details at changethepattern.org.