Jack Porter, for nearly three decades, was the beating heart of the National AIDS Memorial Grove.  Jack passed away in 2019 and will forever be part of our beloved grove.  His passion, love and commitment to not just the memorial, but to the many people he met during his countless days within its warm embrace, will never be able to be replaced.   

Jack was the historian of the memorial, visiting it several times a week and helping care for it and the Circle of Friends, where he would collect mementos left by others in the memory of loved ones lost to HIV and AIDS.  Those loving acts will live on forever, as Jack’s collection remains with the memorial and is displayed every World AIDS Day.

Jack’s dedication to the memorial was also a testament to his love for his former partner, Stephen Marcus, who’s name is engraved in the Circle of Friends.   

“Like so many of his generation, Jack had come out later in life and wanted a place for the LGBTQ community, friends and families to honor their loved ones who had died in the shadows. Jack’s tireless work and volunteerism helped transform a former swamp into sacred ground where the community can gather to remember those lost to HIV/AIDS."

— Nancy Pelosi

40 years of stories

We share the important story of AIDS --

the fear, stigma and discrimination. We share the stories of hope, courage, compassion, and love.  And, we bring to light the harsh reality that four decades later, there is no cure and the rates of infection are on the rise, particularly in communities of color.

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Our work helps ensure that the lives of people who died from AIDS are not forgotten and the story of AIDS is known by future generations -
so that never again will a community be harmed because of fear, silence, discrimination, or stigma.