"If we're up to working together—to putting in the work—the movement that saved my life can save America’s too."

—Cleve Jones

LGBTQ and Labor activist; author of When We Rise: My Life in the Movement

About Cleve Jones

Cleve Jones is a long-time labor and LGBTQ activist. He is the co-founder of the San Francisco AIDS coalition and the founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Since 2005, Cleve has been a Community and Political Coordinator with UNITE HERE, the North American hospitality workers’ union.

Through his partnership with UNITE HERE, Cleve has led LGBTQ and labor coalitions in taking on some of the toughest corporations in the hospitality industry, including:

  • In 2008, Cleve headed a coalition with Latino and LGBTQ groups to boycott the Manchester Grand Hyatt, whose owner helped finance Proposition 8, which stripped same-sex couples of the right to marry in California.
  • In 2014 Cleve was instrumental in the UNITE HERE-led boycott of the  Beverly Hills hotel in Los Angeles after the hotel’s owner—Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei—imposed a new penal code based on Sharia law, which punished homosexuality with death by stoning.

Cleve has also worked to make the labor movement more inclusive of LGBTQ workers via the insertion of LGBTQ safeguards in union contracts to protect workers from workplace discrimination. These protections can be enforced even in locales where no such protections exist in the law.

His new memoir, When We Rise: My Life in the Movement , published in 2016 by Hachette Books, is the partial inspiration for Dustin Lance Black’s ABC mini-series “When We Rise”.

For more about Cleve Jones please visit clevejones.com.

For more about UNITE HERE, visit unitehere.org.