November 21, 2011

Emory to host largest collegiate display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt

This year the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed on McDonough Field for World AIDS Day Dec. 1.

Emory will host the largest collegiate display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in the world on Thursday, Dec. 1, World AIDS Day. This will be the largest "Quilt on the Quad" service Emory has ever hosted, with 179 blocks of 1,432 panels, each telling the story of the 2,719 lives cut short by HIV/AIDS.

Presented by Emory Hillel, the seventh annual AIDS Memorial Quilt on the Quad will take place on McDonough Field in the heart of campus from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  In addition to the Quilt display, there will be 25 panels arranged at various locations around campus. Twelve panels will be integrated with QR codes so that smartphone users can link to online "Quilt Stories" to hear more about the person memorialized in the Quilt.

"Traditionally, we've focused on the history of AIDS, given that we are remembering those lost," says Alexey Abramov, Emory's Quilt on the Quad coordinator and Emory College senior. "This year's event will have a different theme. We want to present hope for the future," says Abramov, by emphasizing the progress of Emory's Center for AIDS Research, where more than 100 investigators are working on basic, clinical, translational and behavioral projects, including vaccine research.

Programming for Quilt on the Quad includes a keynote address presented by Michael Rabkin, director of Emory Hillel, followed by a names reading ceremony. During the service, Emory faculty and students will read the names of those whose panels are remembered. To raise awareness and to show solidarity for World AIDS Day, the color red will be worn on Dec. 1.

A related resource fair will provide information and showcase Emory's leadership in HIV/AIDS research.

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.

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