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The Quilt in Prison

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Suzy Subways

Thank you for this beautiful and informative tribute. Many people on the outside don't understand or seem to want to accept the humanity of all those locked up in U.S. prisons. If people understood, they wouldn't be able to bear knowing how many people are incarcerated right now. Today I saw a photo of a little kid being fingerprinted after being arrested, and the comments under the photo said he probably deserved it. Testimonials and remembrances like this one about creating an AIDS memorial quilt panel behind bars are so powerful, I think powerful enough to break through the lies and stigma about people in prison.

June 26, 2012

Barbara Zeller

I was able to bear witness to this courageous and beautiful project from afar because I am a friend of Laura's and was regularly visiting her in prison during this period. Though our friendship went back many years, in the early 90's I had recently started to work full-time as a physician at a facility for people with AIDS in NYC, now called HELP/PSI. The Yokahama International AIDS Conference was the first conference I attended in 1994. I heard Jonathan Mann talk about how combatting the international HIV epidemic could never be separated from the struggle for human rights. There, in the conference space, was this beautiful memorial quilt laid out. I walked around and around until I found the panel above. I wept then and I wept now as I read Laura's beautiful piece.

May 29, 2012

Reverend Angela Church

Reading your blog takes me back to the Federal Medical prison in Lexington, Kentucky where I was granted the privilege of knowing so many women living and dying with this disease. Their faces came sweeping before me in your words and I remember their creative spirit, courageous presence, love for their family and the way life was embraed in all its fullness. It was such an amazing gift to know them and their names will be forever etched on my heart.

May 23, 2012

Butch McKay

This really hit home as I was there when this Quilt Panel was dedicated at the Prison. I worked for BASIC in Panama City, Florida and we provided HIV education and outreach support services to the Women's prison in Marianna at the time. The one thing Laura didn't mention was that these wonderful ladies also held an AIDS Walk inside the prison as a fundraiser for BASIC and raised over $2000 by having their friends and family send in pledges to sponsor them in the walk. It was an experince that had a lasting impact on me. I have many pictures of this quilt panel. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

May 22, 2012

Madeleine Feinberg

I love this story: moving, insightful. Books could be (but aren't) written about HIV/AIDS in prison. This may be an important beginning to getting stories like this out! More, please. And thank you!

May 21, 2012


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