December 12, 2003 by

Evan Ruderman


Categories: Extraordinary People

Evan Ruderman, an electrician and AIDS activist, died on Nov. 18 from complications of the disease. She was 44.
Ruderman worked as an electrician in New York City, and was the fifth woman to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 3. She was a founding member of Women in the Trades and the Nontraditional Employment for Women organization.
In 1988, Ruderman learned she was HIV positive. She continued working until she developed full-blown AIDS two years later. To educate others about the disease, Ruderman wrote a monologue for a Star Theater production that was performed at New York-area elementary schools. That monologue eventually became part of a documentary shown on PBS.
Ruderman helped create the Foundation for Integrated AIDS Research, and worked to obtain equal access to treatment for HIV patients around the world. A delegate to the World AIDS Conferences in Durban and Barcelona, she called on all governments to budget 50 percent of their AIDS spending on women.

5 Responses to Evan Ruderman

  1. Margot Becker R.

    I met Evan a little over a year before her death. We were in a Spanish class together. She ran rings around all of us–she was the only one who could say anything in Spanish. We never quite got the subjunctive–she said, “You know, where we changed the ‘a’s to ‘o’s and the ‘o’s to ‘a’s?” By the second class, she had asked me for more information about fund raising–an area of expertise for me–for FIAR, a new group she was helping to get off the ground to do clinical trials internationally of alternative and/or alternative/standard Western combo treatments for AIDS. I jumped at the chance because I was already fascinted with her. Soon, she and I were working with the founder and another board member of FIAR. Those meetings were so sweet. In those three friends, I felt as though I’d found three soul mates and my life in New York was infinitely enhanced by those evenings working together. Silly me, I thought I’d have that in my life forever. She fed us in more ways than just with food. Evan, here’s missing you and loving you still.

  2. Aissatou Djingui

    I met Evan through a dear friend of mine. She was very, very nice, very gentle. She was teaching me how to use the computer. I am from Cameroon in Africa and I wanted to learn to use the computer so I can teach kids in my country how to use them. It will help me make a living when I go back to my own country. The night of the black out in New York, I ran into her in Madison Square Park. She recognized me amidst all the confusion. I had been at my English class and I didn’t know how to get home to the Bronx. I was so surprised to see her! Even though she didn’t know how to get to the Bronx, she asked someone and showed me where to catch the bus. I was very sad to hear that she had passed on.

  3. June Dressler

    It was 24 years ago when I first Evan while living with her mom, Cydelle, during the time I was attending NYU graduate school. Evan would come by often to visit. My most vivid memory of her is just sittng together in Washington Square Park while discussing “this and that.” Evan was so interested in you as a person, and focused on you with such intensity. She made others feel so special. I remember thinking to myself as we talked, how unusual it was for someone to have this trait. I am also grateful to have celebrated New Year’s Eve with her when she came down to Florida with Cydelle several years ago. It also made me happy to see her dancing with such vigor at her brother, Adam’s wedding a year and a half ago. Although she had gone through so much, she was more alive than any of us. She will continue to stay alive in our hearts and memories. She has left a legacy which encourages others, like myself, who work in the field of HIV/AIDS education and research, to continue her quest. Evan, you are a burning light in our Universe and beyond!

  4. alyse ligon

    i dont know you but i read the story and it made me cry…
    you seem like a great person and you are in my prayers

  5. Lorenzo Alvarez

    I was looking for a telephone number to call Evan and I came accross this blog.
    Althought Evan’s body left this experience 4 years ago she has lived within me everyday. I can see her smiling face clear as day. I remember even more fondly her spirit and desire to LIVE LIFE FULLY!
    I met Evan during an educational seminar at Landmark Education. We had amazing moments of clarity together and shared very special times.
    I’ll never forget the week-end get away in Hudson NY at Tom Froses’s place, we were all together, Tom, Christopher, Evan, Kat, Freddy, Evelyn, Cousin Debra and myself. It ws a week-end filled with friendship and LOVE.
    Life end’s, LOVE doesn’t!
    I LOVE you eternally Evan….

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