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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Congratulations
 
Congratulations to Cleve Jones, Champion of Change
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 04/23/12
Last updated on: 04/23/12
 
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Congratulations to gay activist Cleve Jones on his selection as a White House Champion of Change. Jones, founder of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, began his career as an activist for equal rights in the 1970s, when he met Harvey Milk, who became his mentor. Following Milk's election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Jones worked as a student intern in Milk's office.

According to the White House website, the Champions of Change program honors ordinary Americans who do "extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world." Each week a group of Champions are invited to the White House "to share their ideas to win the future."

Jones is scheduled to meet President Obama this week.

John Aravosis at AmericablogGay speculates that Jones may raise the question of Obama's decision not to issue an executive order banning discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

One of the co-organizers of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in 1983 and of the 2009 National Equality March on Washington, Jones works as a community organizer for UNITE HERE, the international union representing hotel, casino, food service and restaurant workers throughout the United States and Canada.

He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and a senior advisor to the Courage Campaign.

In the video below, Cleve Jones discusses how he conceived the AIDS Memorial Quilt project.

 
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