Mark your calendar for the 2020 Druid City Pride Festival presented by Mercedes-Benz U.S. International
October 4, 2020 at Government Plaza in Tuscaloosa, AL!
With Headliner Cleve Jones
and Host Stoney Sharp!
(See their bio's below.)
A civil rights icon and hero of the struggle for gay, lesbian and transgender rights, Cleve Jones has been a driving force behind the most important gains made by the LGBTQ community over the past four decades. From his early days in the gay liberation movement with Harvey Milk to co-founding the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, founding the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and fighting for marriage equality; Jones has made history as part of one of the most inspiring human rights movements of all time. He was portrayed in the Oscar-winning film Milk (for which he served as a historical consultant) by Emile Hirsch, prominently featured in the film And the Band Played On and in the critically acclaimed miniseries When We Rise, which was inspired by his memoir of the same title. Now speaking out for all who struggle for equality and fair treatment, Jones brings powerful perspective and storytelling talent to timely discussions of diversity, intersectionality and civil and human rights.
Born in 1954, Jones considers himself one of “the last generation of gay Americans that grew up wondering if there were others like himself.” Like thousands of others that fled repressive backgrounds, he was drawn to the progressive politics and sexual freedom of San Francisco in the early 1970s. It was there that he met Harvey Milk, the nation’s most outspoken gay elected
official. Jones worked in Milk’s City Hall office as an intern until Milk’s assassination in 1978. With the onset of the AIDS epidemic, Jones rose up to organize the gay community and raise awareness, co-founding the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in 1983. The foundation has since
grown into one of the largest and most influential advocacy organizations of its kind. In 1987, he founded the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, the world’s largest community arts project, memorializing the lives of more than 85,000 Americans. Jones’s first book, Stitching a Revolution: The Making of an Activist chronicles his life and how the AIDS Memorial Quilt project sought to restore hope in a time of tragedy and fear. Jones led the 2009 National March for Equality in Washington D.C. He also served on the Advisory Board of the American Foundation for Equal rights, which challenged California’s Proposition 8 in the U.S. Supreme Court, winning a landmark victory for marriage equality. In 2016, Jones released his memoir, When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, winner of the Lambda Literary Award. The book inspired a 2017 miniseries directed by Gus Van Zant and starring Guy Pearce as Jones. He currently works with UNITE HERE, the hotel, restaurant, and food service workers’ labor union.
Stoney Sharp is a Morning Reporter for ABC 33/40's Good Morning Alabama. He has filled several roles during his decade-long television news career including anchor and entertainment TV host. Jimmy Fallon, Dolly Parton, Liam Hemsworth, and multiple other celebrities have graced his microphone.
He won an Associated Press award for Breaking Sports News after Lane Kiffin’s departure sparked a student-led riot at The University of Tennessee. Stoney has also snagged an Emmy nomination for his news reporting.
Before an 8-year stretch at WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Stoney’s TV career began in his hometown of Columbus, Mississippi at WCBI-TV. He is a graduate of The University of Alabama’s Department of Journalism & Creative Media.