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CCNY observes World AIDS Day with Memorial Quilt display

11/30/2011, 4:21 p.m.
CCNY observes World AIDS Day with Memorial Quilt display

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CCNY observes World AIDS Day with Memorial Quilt display

Remembrances, quotes and dedications from members of the CCNY community that will be added to the AIDS Memorial Quilt when it goes on display at the college Dec. 1.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt, an iconic symbol of the epidemic that has killed more than half a million Americans, goes on display at the City College of New York (CCNY) on Dec. 1 in observance of World AIDS Day.

On loan from the NAMES Project Foundation in Atlanta, the quilt will hang in the Great Hall on the second floor of Shepard Hall until Dec. 2. Members of the public will be able to view it without charge 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on both days. CCNY is located at 138th Street and Convent Avenue in Manhattan.

"December 1 is World AIDS Day, when the international community remembers those we have lost to AIDS while raising awareness and celebrating progress such as increased access to treatment and prevention services," said Dr. Lisa S. Coico, president of CCNY.

"With more than 107,000 New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS and thousands more unaware of their status, it is only proper that CCNY joins the millions of people around the globe in observing the day by hosting this poignant symbol," Coico added. "Our friends and neighbors in the community are all welcome to view it."

In addition to hosting the quilt, CCNY will join the thousands of institutions and private individuals that have added panels to it over the last two decades. Dr. Myrah Brown Green, a master quiltmaker who is also executive director of arts and culture at the college, designed the CCNY panel.

"Our panel, like the others on the quilt, is 3 feet by 6 feet in dimension to symbolize the average grave," said Dr. Green, who teaches the "Quilt Making in American History" class at CCNY. "It will have remembrances, quotes, dedications and names submitted by members of the City College community in memory of friends and loved ones who have fallen to AIDS."

According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 594,500 people have died of AIDS in the United States since the epidemic began. The CDC estimates that 1.2 million people are currently living with HIV infection. Globally, 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.

Founded in 1987, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is a poignant memorial and a powerful tool for use in preventing new HIV infections. It is also the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. Virtually every one of the more than 40,000 colorful panels that make up the quilt memorializes the life of a person lost to AIDS. As the epidemic continues claiming lives around the world and in the United States, the quilt continues to grow and reach more communities with its messages of remembrance, awareness and hope.

The quilt was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and has been the subject of numerous books, films, scholarly papers, articles and theatrical, artistic and musical performances, including "Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt," which won the Academy Award for best feature-length documentary film of 1989.

World AIDS Day is observed globally every Dec. 1. It was established by the World Health Organization in 1988 and is one of the most recognized international health days. Activities on the day raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, commemorate those lost to the disease and applaud strides made to increase access to treatment and prevention services. This year's theme is: "Getting to Zero." It calls for zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. Backed by the United Nations, the "Getting to Zero" campaign runs until 2015.