In honour of this year’s Calgary Pride Festival, we have partnered with Twisted Element to bring two incredible guest speakers, as well as some local voices, for a night of social commentary. Join us at the Plaza Theatre on August 28 as we welcome Cleve Jones and Ruth Coker Burks, two legendary voices who have made extraordinary contributions to the LGBTQ+ movement and HIV awareness. You can purchase tickets here.
Ruth Coker Burks
Ruth is a former caregiver of AIDS crisis victims and an AIDS awareness advocate based in Arkansas. During the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s, she used her salary as a real estate agent to care for AIDS patients whose families and communities had abandoned them. Because of the prejudices, fears, and stigma surrounding the disease at the time, she was often the patients’ only caregiver until their passing. She is recognized for burying them in her own family cemetery in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Cleve is an American AIDS and LGBT rights activist. He conceived the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt which has become, at 54 tons, the world’s largest piece of community folk art as of 2016. In 1983, at the onset of the AIDS pandemic Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation which has grown into one of the largest and most influential People with AIDS advocacy organizations in the United States.