The Recollectors: Remembering Parents Lost to AIDS

The Recollectors is a digital community and storytelling forum dedicated to remembering parents lost to AIDS and supporting the children they left behind.  

We started in 2013 as a conversation between two friends, Recollectors co-founders Alysia Abbott and Whitney Joiner. Our fathers both died of AIDS-related complications in 1992, when HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death for men aged 18 to 45. As the years went by, we knew there must be other men and women mourning parents who died of a disease that continues to be stigmatized both in the U.S. and globally—but why hadn’t their stories been heard?

The Recollectors was created as a community for those families, with as living archive for these underreported stories. Our group today counts nearly 200 members around the U.S, along with members in Canada, Scotland, Switzerland and Turkey. We collect their stories as original essays, book excerpts, oral histories, interviews and recordings through our partnership with the oral history organization StoryCorps.

Some of our members have lost one parent. Some have lost both. Some Recollectors are living with HIV as well. All of our stories are important.

Have you lost one or more parents to AIDS? Do you want to connect with others who’ve also lost parents, online or in person? Do you want to share your story? We want to hear from you. Find us at:
Twitter: @TheRecollectors

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