November 29, 2010

Largest AIDS Quilt display to be 'vivid reminder'

Quilt on the Quad, 2009

The display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt has been moved indoors due to weather.  The event will now take place in the Dobbs University Center.

Emory hosts the largest display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt in the world on Wednesday, Dec. 1, with more than 1,200 panels, each telling the story of lives lost to HIV/AIDS. 

Presented by Emory Hillel on World AIDS Day, the sixth annual "Quilt on the Quad" will take place for the first time on McDonough Field in the heart of campus from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The panels will be arranged in the shape of a ribbon.

The opening ceremony will involve members of the Emory community who will read the names of each individual memorialized by a Quilt panel. Two recent Emory graduates will speak about their involvement in bringing the Quilt to campus and their personal connections to it, including Haley Rosengarten '07C, who dedicated a panel for her father at Quilt on the Quad in 2006.

“With teddy bears and Boy Scout badges, wedding rings and faded photographs, The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a vivid reminder that HIV/AIDS can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any age,” says Michael Rabkin, Emory Hillel director. “The Quilt allows us to see not a disease or a set of statistics, but a mother, a child, a father or a brother. It is a place where walls come down, where people connect, stories are told, information is shared and potentially lives are saved.”

Emory scientists and physicians also are at the forefront of research efforts to develop effective drugs and vaccines against HIV and AIDS. The Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) is an official National Institutes of Health CFAR site. More than 100 faculty throughout Emory are working on some aspect of HIV/AIDS prevention or treatment.

Events begin on the eve of World AIDS Day to raise awareness of the history of HIV/AIDS and the significant role Emory has in the areas of research and policy.

“State of AIDS” was Tuesday, Nov. 30. Rollins School of Public Health Dean James Curran delivered the keynote address, followed by a panel discussion.

This event, held in the Few Hall multipurpose room, was created jointly by Residence Life and Housing and Student Health and Counseling Services among other sponsors. 

Panelists were Carlos del Rio, professor of global health at Rollins; Harriet Robinson, chief of microbiology and immunology in the School of Medicine; Mary Loftus, associate editor of Emory Magazine; and Paige Parvin, editor of Emory Magazine wtih Brittany Miller, Class of 2011, as student moderator.

The NAMES Project Foundation Inc. is the international curator of The AIDS Memorial Quilt, now headquartered in Atlanta. The foundation was established in 1987 as a non-governmental organization with the mission of preserving, caring for and using The AIDS Memorial Quilt to inspire action, heighten awareness and foster healing in the age of AIDS. The entire quilt weighs 54 tons and includes more than 47,000 panels dedicated to more than 91,000 individuals.

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