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The Geography of Care in the Early HIV/AIDS Crisis

One of the nation’s first HIV/AIDS facilities, Washington, D.C.’s Whitman
Walker clinic has saved the lives and eased the su≠ering of thousands of

people living with AIDS since the early 1980s. Kwame Holmes recontex-
tualizes the clinic’s work against the backdrop of the private donations

that kept the facility afloat in its early years. Mapping out the “thank-you”
letters written by Walker’s management board reveals that white gay
suburbanites, rather than inner city gays, drove donations to Whitman
Walker. Moreover, the largest single donor to Whitman Walker was a man
named Robert Alfandre, a wealthy developer who made millions building
homes in segregated Maryland and Virginia suburbs during the 1950s
and 1960s. By following the money, it becomes possible to illuminate the
fiduciary and spatial origins of the uneven distribution of HIV services
to white and black populations within the city itself.
wednesday, october 18, 2017
4:00–5:30 pm
herter hall, room 601

Free and open to the public
The Geography of Care in the
Early HIV/AIDS Crisis

Kwame Holmes
Assistant Professor
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of Colorado

For more information, contact communications@history.umass.edu