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Finding Aid to the Mobilization Against AIDS Records, 1984-1995
MSS 95-03  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Mobilization Against AIDS records,
    Date (inclusive): 1984-1995
    Collection Number: MSS 95-03
    Creators : Mobilization Against Aids
    Extent: Number of containers: 3 cartons Linear feet: 3.75
    Repository: The UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management, Archives and Special Collections
    University of California, San Francisco
    530 Parnassus Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94143-0840
    Phone: (415) 476-8112
    Fax: (415) 476-4653
    Email: http://www.library.ucsf.edu/collres/archives/contactform.html
    URL: http://www.library.ucsf.edu/collres/archives/
    Abstract: This collection documents the founding, administration and work of the Mobilization Against AIDS also known as the MOB. MOB was primarily a lobbying organization working against anti-AIDS initiatives and governmental policies, promoting the testing of new AIDS Drugs, and generally drawing attention to the AIDS epidemic around the world. They are best known for their AIDS Dance-a-thon fundraiser and the International AIDS Candlelight Vigil outreach activity.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog: http://www.library.ucsf.edu/ .

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manager of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
    Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Mobilization Against AIDS Records, MSS 95-03, The UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management, Archives and Special Collections, University of California, San Francisco.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Separated Material


    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    AIDS (Disease)--California--San Francisco
    AIDS (Disease)--Political aspects--United States
    AIDS (Disease)--Research--Government policy
    AIDS (Disease)--Social aspects--California--San Francisco Bay Area
    AIDS activists--United States
    Social action--United States
    Mobilization Against AIDS (organization)

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Mobilization Against AIDS Records were donated to the University by Ben Carlson for the Mobilization Against AIDS in 1995.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged to the folder level.

    Processing Information

    Julia Bazar, September 2005

    Organizational History

    The Mobilization Against AIDS is a California-based national advocacy and lobbying organization that works to safeguard civil rights and to assure adequate treatment for all HIV-infected individuals. The Mobilization was formed in San Francisco in 1984 as a non-partisan activist organization. The organization was founded on the positive energy generated from the March for Lesbian and Gay Rights at the National Democratic Convention. It is one of the oldest AIDS activist groups in the world, having been founded just three years after AIDS was identified.
    The Mobilization's first priority was the defeat of the early civil rights attacks on people with AIDS, and then on increasing the funding for research on AIDS. This included advocating for a focused response to the AIDS epidemic from the federal government, and expanded to concerns over access to treatment, drug trials, drug approval processes, and drug costs.
    MOB was a central player in the massive campaigns that succeeded in defeating the LaRouche AIDS Quarantine Initiatives in 1986 and 1988, and the Dannemeyer AIDS Initiative in 1988. In 1990 federal legislation explicitly prohibited discrimination against people with AIDS. As a direct lobbying group, the Mobilization organizes staff and volunteers to meet with federal officials and legislators. This has led to the development of long-term relationships with congressional representatives, especially those on the House of Representatives Budget and Appropriations Committees. Between 1984 and 1990 federal AIDS spending went from $85 million to over $1.8 billion, partially as a result of MOB lobbying efforts. The MOB also assists interested citizens in writing and visiting key federal officials and legislators, including the creation of kits that include sample letters and other tips.
    Another major project has been organizing the International Candlelight Memorial. Since 1984, the event has become the world's largest simultaneous observance honoring the memory of AIDS victims and demonstrating support for people living with AIDS (PWA's). Memorials have taken place in over 220 cities in 35 countries. Events are arranged locally with support from the Mobilization, including supplying sample posters, letters to dignitaries, and providing logistical tips.
    They have also worked with other agencies for more effective lobbying efforts. The Mobilization has received the majority of its funding from the AIDS Walkathon and the AIDS Dance-a-thon with the remainder coming from individual donations.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection documents the founding, administration and work of the Mobilization Against AIDS also known as the MOB. The MOB is primarily a lobbying organization working against anti-AIDS initiatives and government policies, promoting the testing of new AIDS Drugs, and generally drawing attention to the AIDS epidemic around the world. It is also an outreach organization. MOB worked to bring public understanding and support to the HIV-positive community, and to champion AIDS as an issue of concern to all.
    Both board and staff meeting minutes are included in the administrative records. Besides a number of smaller fundraising events, their primary event was the Annual AIDS Dance-a-thon. This fundraiser, which was held between 1987 and 1996, attracted the endorsement of celebrities such as Madonna, and provided monies not just to MOB, but to a number of other AIDS Organizations such as the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Instituto Familiar de la Raza. Outreach activities and programs ranged from Town Hall meetings to the International AIDS Candlelight Vigil, an outreach activity which grew from a local event into a truly worldwide night of commemoration. The MOB's main activity, however, was working against the early homophobic anti-AIDS initiatives, lobbying the government for increased AIDS funding, and working for the release of better AIDS drugs. The MOB staff and board not only lobbied, but also organized "Lobbying Teams" and "Lobbying Days" to bring ordinary citizens into the movement and increase the pressure on the politicians. Flyers for events, a MOB button and handkerchief, along with a few photographs, are also included in the collection.
    The Collection is divided into three series: Series 1: Founding, Board, and Administrative Files; Series 2: Fundraising, Program, and Organizational Files; Series 3: Publicity/Publications/Ephemera.