This week marks AIDS Awareness Week at Mother McAuley. Currently on display in the student lounge are three sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. The quilt panels will remain on display at McAuley through next Tuesday, December 4. Each 12- by 12-foot section of the larger quilt includes 8, three by six foot panels, meant to represent the size of a coffin. To show their support for this important initiative, McAuley students designed their own 8 x 11 inch paper panels, or “quilts,” which also are on display near the student lounge.
Natural & Health Science Department Chairperson, Dr. Roz Iasillo worked to secure the quilts, one of which she helped design in honor of her late brother, Bill.
This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the AIDS pandemic. The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was started in 1987 by a group of individuals to commemorate loved ones they had lost to the disease, and to raise awareness. According to the National Names Project there are currently over 48,000 individual memorial panels. The patches are accepted as anonymous and can honor an AIDS victim or mark something else.
This past summer, and for the first time in 10 years all sections of the quilt were brought together in Washington, D.C., to be displayed during the National AIDS Conference. This year, however, the quilt did not fit in its entirety on the National Mall so other sections had to be displayed throughout the District of Columbia.