The future of the Grove includes you, and all who care about, visit, wonder about, or rely on it. It will forever be connected to you and those you remember and honor by being here.
Over the last two years, the board of directors, staff, friends, and advisors worked together to create a five-year strategic plan. Early in this effort, we crafted and adopted a new mission statement:
“The mission of the National AIDS Memorial Grove is to provide, in perpetuity, a place of remembrance so that the lives of the people who have died from AIDS are not forgotten and the story is known by future generations.”
This work was done to prepare the Grove to resonate with future visitors, new generations, survivors, friends and family, and the so-called “AIDS Generation.” This is a daunting task to say the least — and perpetuity is a very long time!
The strategic plan is focused yet far-reaching, and covers the years 2014-2018. The first year (2014) is dedicated to assessment, learning and building, and articulating an appropriate and compelling vision, as well as engaging stakeholders — you. Your input is critical the first year to help us shape the future. The Grove needs your knowledge, perspectives, and participation.
The Grove will always be a special and sacred place to memorialize and honor individual lives. However, as the site and agency have evolved, important and yet unrealized potential has been revealed. The Grove has a significant national calling to place those lives in the larger historical context of the American social response to AIDS.
The Grove seeks to provide resources and leadership for ensuring that the stories of the lives of real people are shared, preserved, and honored. Perhaps you’ve asked yourself these questions: Will the memorial resonate with future generations? Will the story, and our stories, be conveyed by the memorial when we are no longer alive? And since the pandemic is not over, what future stories are waiting to be told?
The epidemic is not over for millions of people both here in the US as well as around the world. As we preserve the history of all those lives lost to HIV/AIDS as well as the history of those survivors and fighters in the epidemic, we must be cognizant of and responsive to address the needs of younger people and future generations. The commitment from the Grove is to find inclusive and powerful ways to tell the stories, so that never again will any community be allowed to die from fear, silence, bigotry, and stigma.
In 2012, the boundaries of the Grove were officially expanded by an additional three-plus acres of land adjacent to the West Portal. This new space presents an exciting opportunity for both the Grove and our nation. Please look for future announcements from the Grove on the strategic plan, stakeholder engagement, and story preservation.
The future of the Grove includes you in the next chapter in our history.