Michael J Smith

Mike is the co-founder of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, widely regarded as the catalyst that shifted the dialogue about HIV in the 1980s from stigma to compassion. During his tenure there, the Quilt grew from an idea to more than 15,000 memorial panels in 20 countries.  In 1989, he and Cleve Jones were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the film about the Quilt, Common Threads, received the Academy Award for Best Documentary.  In 1996, he produce the last full-scale display of the Quilt in Washington DC. He recently retired from a 30-year career leading AIDS advocacy and care organizations.