Several panels of National AIDS Memorial Quilt on display at Rowan College

World AIDS Day is Dec. 1
National AIDS Memorial Quilt
Photo credit Renita Brady

SOUTH JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — Ahead of World AIDS Day next week, a professor at Rowan College at Burlington County found a creative way to bring awareness to her students.

Five panels of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt are temporarily hanging inside the student center in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, honoring people who died from AIDS.

Sociology professor Renita Brady calls it “history come alive.”

“It’s more than just sitting here in class and watching a video and saying, ‘Hey, watch this.’ It brings the hands-on piece to it — seeing it in person, seeing the symbolism, that representative in these quilts that hang in the Student Success Center,” she said.

The colorful panels, on loan from the New Jersey chapter of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, were created by relatives and loved ones of people who died from the disease. The panels include not only their names but also show how they lived.

National AIDS Memorial Quilt
Photo credit Renita Brady

“You see those who are passionate about dogs and animals, those that are passionate about music. All of these symbols that really represented a diversity of life, from the very, very young to the very, very old,” Brady described.

For her, the quilt is timeless.

“It really is a powerful representation of activism, love, healing, hope and remembrance as we work toward diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The panels will be on display until Dec. 15. Anyone can view them in the student center. Face masks are required.