P Tyrone Smith
Each year for AIDS Walk San Francisco, the National AIDS Memorial community comes together to raise vital funds needed to support the work of the National AIDS Memorial.
The work of the National AIDS Memorial helps ensure that the lives of people who died from AIDS are not forgotten and the story of AIDS — and the AIDS Movement — is known by future generations — so that never again will a community be harmed because of fear, silence, discrimination, or stigma.
By sharing the story of the struggle against HIV/AIDS, we remember, in perpetuity, the lives lost, we offer healing and hope to survivors, and we inspire new generations of activists in the fight against stigma, denial, and hate, for a just future.
By supporting our AIDS Walk San Francisco 2021 fundraising goal, you walk in solidarity with us to tell the stories of lives lost, to give hope to those who have been affected, and to take action that bends the arc of justice.
This year we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park. In 1991, a community devastated by the loss and heartache of the HIV/AIDS pandemic gathered in the Grove and began the work of creating a healing sanctuary. They envisioned a serene place where people would come alone or in groups to hold memorial services, to remember among the rhododendrons and redwoods. The group selected the de Laveaga Dell, which had fallen into a state of disrepair — it was overgrown and unusable by the public. A team of prominent architects, landscape architects, and designers volunteered countless hours to create a landscape plan that would be fitting as a timeless living memorial.
Last year the National AIDS Memorial was honored to become the stewards of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and oversee the return of this national treasure to the San Francisco Bay Area. In June of 1995, activists were inspired by name placards of those who had died of HIV/AIDS taped to the wall of the San Francisco Federal Building after the annual candlelight march in honor of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. The wall of names looked like a patchwork quilt. A little over a year later a small group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to create the NAME Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Soon after, the first panel was created for Marvin Feldman.
Today the National AIDS Memorial stands as a symbol of strength and resilience for our nation, even as we face another pandemic. Together we carry on in the face of loss and despair, we stand for justice and equality, and we carry a message of healing, hope and remembrance.
With your support we will reach our $5,00 goal and help the National AIDS Memorial raise $200,000 to support the Grove, the Quilt, our scholarships, and other programs. Make a donation today and be a part of making HIV/AIDS history.