The purpose of this project is to tell the story of AIDS through the personal stories of people affected by the epidemic. The more stories donated to the project, the more fully that story is preserved for future generations.
As examples, do you know a story that fits into any of the following threads?
- The humanity of lives cut short
- Early responders: professional and/or volunteer
- Early PWA activists
- Women on either/both sides of illness
- Grassroots organizations/volunteers that provided services neglected by society
- Heroes, anti-heroes, allies, and champions – public and private
- Citizen activists and volunteers
- The ‘San Francisco Model of Response’, and replications in other places
The story you donate might be a narrative, told as an original poem, or maybe a conversation. Perhaps you’d like to share a series of impressions or memories that complete the sentence, “I remember…” The point is to give future readers a sense of the human experiences of real people so they can feel a human connection and move past ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ and become part of the affected ‘We’.
Part of the vision for this project is a healing experience for the writer, for families—logical and biological. It is important not to rush this very personal process. At the same time, there is no expectation that a person submitting a story is a writer-with-a-capital-W—just open hearted.
Here are some more prompts for your memory:
- When I close my eyes and picture [name], I see…
- I have this [object/shirt, etc.] that belonged to [name]. Describe the object, and how it brings the person/relationship to mind.
- I have a freeze-frame in my mind of the day/night we…
- Whenever I hear that song [name of song], it takes me back to/makes me think of…
- [Name]’s sense of humor, creativity, bad jokes, gentleness, culinary skills, etc. still informs what/how I…
Collectively, our stories will not only ensure that our lost loved ones are not forgotten—they will also inform future generations who seek social justice and equality, and inspire them to unite and take action to improve their own communities and effect positive changes on society-at-large.
We invite you to donate your story. Please click the Donate a Story button.