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Yale grad’s essay blasts SFAF

Park’s popular ‘gay beach’ to close for facelift

by Seth Hemmelgarn

A

senior essay by a recent Yale graduate blasts the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, questioning the nonprofit spending millions of dollars to establish a health center in the Castro Courtesy Linkedin catering to gay and Yale graduate bi men, and indicatDaniel Dangaran ing that many staffers feel dismissed by the nonprofit’s leadership team. The analysis by Daniel Dangaran doesn’t name the AIDS foundation, but it’s clearly about the organization, which, with a budget last fiscal year of about $24 million, is the largest AIDS-based nonprofit in the city. Neil Giuliano, SFAF’s CEO since 2010, indicated the essay was heavily flawed but confirmed that Dangaran spent weeks at the agency last summer. He offered little in the way of corrections and acknowledged there have been problems at the foundation. “Any time you’re working with a diverse group of people in an often tough service delivery kind of work, you’re going to fall short of meeting people’s expectations from time to time,” Giuliano said in an interview this week. “We understand that, and we always strive to do a better job.” SFAF, which was founded in 1982 and offers services ranging from syringe exchange to HIV testing, serves thousands of people a year as it works to cut new HIV infections in San Francisco. Dangaran, who submitted the 59-page essay to fulfill a senior requirement for a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, didn’t respond to multiple interview requests about the piece, which is dated April 23 and titled, “This Place Needs Some Harm Reduction: An Ethnographic Critical Analysis of an HIV/ AIDS Service Nonprofit in San Francisco.” The essay was provided to the Bay Area Reporter anonymously in late May. Dangaran interviewed 32 AIDS foundation staffers as well as three people on the leadership team, which Dangaran defines as having four members: The CEO, the vice presidents of philanthropy and public affairs and of human resources, and the chief financial officer. Additionally, Dangaran spent 250 hours of observation over nine weeks in the summer of 2014; “observed the administration” and 13 of SFAF’s 14 programs and services; attended meetings, workshops, and other activities; and volunteered with the foundation’s needle exchange sites and other services. (Dangaran said the 14th program was conducted in Spanish, which Dangaran doesn’t speak.) See page 7 >>

Vol. 45 • No. 25 • June 18-24, 2015

Parkgoers enjoyed a sunny Sunday afternoon at the “gay beach” area in the southwest corner of Dolores Park June 14. The section is slated to close Thursday for renovation.

by Cynthia Laird

D

olores Park’s popular “gay beach” will close Thursday as crews prepare to begin renovating the last portion of one of the city’s most utilized green spaces.

The recently completed facelift of the park’s northern section opened June 18. The $8 million project features lush lawns, an accessible path, revamped tennis and basketball courts, and, to the relief of many, more public restrooms. See page 14 >>

Activists recall 1990 AIDS confab

Rick Gerharter

by Liz Highleyman

New York City, but activists in San Francisco were already den June 1990, as the world’s leadmanding action around AIDS ing HIV doctors and researchthe previous year. By the summer ers gathered in San Francisco of 1990 ACT UP had spawned for the sixth International AIDS chapters across the country that Conference, the disease had killed came together for large national nearly 100,000 people in the U.S., demonstrations targeting the an estimated 8 million people Food and Drug Administration, worldwide were living with HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and no effective treatments were and Prevention, and the National available. Thousands of AIDS acInstitutes of Health, as well as tivists were there too, taking part in ensuring that people with HIV an unprecedented week of protests. had a voice at the annual InternaThose events will be rememtional AIDS conferences. bered this weekend at an ACT UP The week of action surrounding 25th reunion celebration featurthe 1990 conference had a different ing art and performances, a “livRick Gerharter theme each day, often ending in ing history” panel, a party, and a Activists use air horns to successfully drown out the speech of traffic-tangling marches and street memorial for deceased activists. blockades. Police presence was Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan on June “We demonstrated to our- 24, 1990 during the closing ceremony at the International AIDS heavy and many activists were arselves, one another, the larger Conference in San Francisco. rested, only to be cited and released LGBT community, San Francisco, in time for the next day’s action. and the nation that we had large “We brought issues of race, ima large part of the stigma of AIDS. We changed numbers of people from around migration, poverty, and sexism the country with the will and capacity to orga- the medical system forever, and we changed how into the discussion,” said ACT UP/SF member drugs are researched, developed, and approved,” Ingrid Nelson, now a nurse practitioner. “Huge nize and disrupt until there was a meaningful added Tim Kingston, a journalist who covered and numbers of queers from the community showed governmental response to the epidemic,” said participated in the protests. “Without ACT UP we former ACT UP/SF member Eric Ciasullo. “We up and got arrested for their first time and bewould have been at least 10, maybe 20, years be- came lifelong activists starting with that week.” empowered ourselves and demonstrated that our lives mattered and that we’d fight for them.” hind where we are with treatment options.” Another participant said a focus was on A week of actions A bit of history quickening the pace for new treatments. On that Tuesday before the conference 25 ACT UP was founded in March 1987 in “We attacked in and many ways eliminated See page 8 >>

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June 18, 2015 Edition of the Bay Area Reporter  

The undisputed newspaper of record for the San Francisco Bay Area LGBT community and the oldest continuously-published gay newspaper in the...

June 18, 2015 Edition of the Bay Area Reporter  

The undisputed newspaper of record for the San Francisco Bay Area LGBT community and the oldest continuously-published gay newspaper in the...